Luke 22 Commentary

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From Jensen's Survey of the NT by permission
John MacArthur's Introduction to the Gospel of Luke
Charles Swindoll's Introduction to Luke
Luke Overview Chart by Charles Swindoll

Click chart to enlarge LIFE OF CHRIST IN GOSPEL OF LUKE (See Shaded Areas)
Chart from recommended resource  Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Ryrie Study Bible -Borrow

Source: ESV Global Study Bible

Luke 22:1   Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching.

KJV Luke 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

Related Passages:

Matthew 26:17  Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

Mark 14:1+  Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him;

Mark 14:12+ On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples *said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

Calendar of Jewish Feasts
(Source: Rose Guide to the Tabernacle 
Excellent Teaching Resource)


A note of warning as we begin to study what is often referred to as Jesus' Passion (suffering) - Reading different commentaries may result in some confusion as to the timing of events on the last days of Passion week. For example, the noted expositor John MacArthur is one of the few who state that the Triumphal Entry was on a Monday and not a Sunday (see his sermon notes explaining his logic), which would make the events in Luke 22:1-6 as occurring on Wednesday, not Tuesday as described by most other commentators. For example, Jewish commentator Arnold Fruchtenbaum places the events in Luke 22:1-6 on Tuesday adding that "the Gospels are silent about the events of Wednesday. We can only guess that it was a day of private preparation by Jesus for what will begin on the Passover, which began on Thursday afternoon." MacArthur places the events in Luke 22:1-6 on Wednesday. I can see the rationale of Jesus not resting on Wednesday but redeeming this previous time in ministry, in teaching and preaching the Gospel. So that is one point of difference in many of the commentaries. Another point of difference is regarding the chronology of the Passover. Specifically, did Jesus really celebrate the Passover meal with His disciples on Thursday evening and then die as the Passover Lamb of God on Friday afternoon. The likely answer is "Yes." This will be discussed in more detail below, but just be aware that there is not a clear cut consensus regarding the events on Thursday and Friday. Another point to keep in mind as taught in Lk 22:1 is the fact that in Jesus' day the two separate feasts, Passover and Unleavened Bread, were considered as one feast, sometime referred to as Passover and sometimes as the Feast of Unleavened Bread (see Mt 26:17, Mk 14:1, 12, Lk 22:1). 

Another event that might be confusing (though not described by Luke) is the anointing of Jesus by Mary. John describes this anointing in John 12:1-8 as occurring six days before the Passover. On the other hand, Matthew's Gospel describes the event in Mt 26:6-13, after the statement that the Jewish leaders were plotting to seize Jesus (Mt 26:1-5, which parallels Luke 22:1-6) which would have been either Tuesday (most commentators) or Wednesday (MacArthur) prior to the Passover. Clearly, Matthew inserts this description as a "flashback" while John gives the correct chronology of this event which would have been on the preceding Saturday. In this particular and unique act of worship, when Mary poured this perfume upon Jesus' body, without her even realizing it, she in effect was preparing Him for His burial. Her act of devotion became a symbolic deed that anticipated His death and burial. Jesus Himself attesting that "when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial." (Mt 26:12). And so Matthew places this event in the context of the events leading up to His betrayal, trial and crucifixion. 

One other event that needs to be kept in mind is Jesus' Upper Room discourse recorded only by John in John 13-16. This discourse clearly occurred during the Last Supper which Luke describes in Luke 22:14-38.  

There are minor differences between the Synoptic Gospel accounts and these will be described as we work through Luke 22 verse by verse. It is notable that Luke is the synoptic writer who gives us the most detail regarding the Last Supper. 

Leon Morris writes that "All our Gospels agree that the crucifixion took place on a Friday in the Passover season, but whether the Passover coincided with the Lord’s Supper (as it seems to do in the Synoptics) or with the crucifixion itself (as John seems to say) is one of the most difficult questions in New Testament interpretation....Possibly the best explanation is that there were different calendars in use (Ed: see note below). Jesus died as the Passover victims were being slain according to the official calendar; but he had held the Passover with his followers the previous evening according to an unofficial calendar. (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

J C Ryle - THE chapter which opens with these verses, begins St. Luke’s account of our Lord’s sufferings and death. No part of the Gospels is so important as this. The death of Christ was the life of the world.—No part of our Lord’s history is so fully given by all the gospel writers as this. Only two of them describe the circumstances of Christ’s birth. All four dwell minutely on Christ’s death. And of all the four, no one supplies us with such full and interesting details as St. Luke.

Parallel Passages:

Matthew 26:1-2 (JESUS PREDICTS THE EXACT DAY OF HIS DEATH) When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

Comment: Jesus' prediction is in the context of the Jewish leaders looking for an opportunity to seize Him, but thinking that they would not be able to complete their task of killing Him until AFTER the Passover. Jesus' prediction of course was "spot on" and reiterates the theme that God not men is in total control of this grand story of redemption. 

Mark 14:1+ Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away (LUKE SIMPLY SAYS "WAS APPROACHING); and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; 

Notice that Luke shifts the scenes from Jesus in the Temple to Jesus in the City. He also shifts content from the teachings of Jesus to stories about Jesus. 

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover (Wikipedia) - While Luke uses these two names interchangeably, they actually represent two different Jewish festivals, the Feast of Passover (Nisan 14-15), followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Aka "Feast of Matzot")(Nisan 15-21). For example in the Book of Numbers 28:16-17 we read

Then on the fourteenth day of the first month shall be the LORD’S Passover. On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast, unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days.

The Jewish historian Josephus speaks of them as separate feasts but also combines them as one feast as in Antiquities xiv. 21 where we read....

So Aretas united the forces of the Arabians and of the Jews together, and pressed on the siege vigorously. As this happened at the time when the feast of unleavened bread was celebrated, which we call the Passover, the principal men among the Jews left the country, and fled into Egypt.

And so strictly speaking in the Mosaic Law, the Feast of Passover was one day, followed by a distinct celebration  of unleavened bread for 7 days. As Jewish believer Arnold Fruchtenbaum notes "by Jesus’ day in 1st century Israel, and up until today, these two feasts were combined into one 8 day observance all labeled Passover."

Passover of course was a memorial that celebrated the night when the death angel passed over (Ex 12:12-14+) the doors of homes marked with the blood (Ex 12:7+) of a blemish free lamb (Ex 12:3-5+, cf  Jn 1:29+, 1 Pe 1:18-19+, 1 Cor 5:7+). The Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorated Israel's exodus journey out of Egypt after the Passover. So at this time in Jerusalem, there would be Jewish pilgrims flooding in for these two great feasts which were in effect a celebration of Israel's past temporal salvation as a nation (but for most did not result in personal salvation)! How ironic that the very One to Whom all of the Feasts pointed (1 Cor 5:7-8+) was preparing to sacrifice Himself to make a way for the eternal salvation of their souls! Sadly, most of the pilgrims did not have eyes to recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God Who could take away their sin and the sin of the world (Jn 1:29+). 

This feast is prescribed in Leviticus 23:5-6+ 

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’S Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

Kevin Williams has an interesting note - Ever since its beginning, Passover, or Pesach as it is called in Hebrew, has been celebrated on the full moon of a month (Nisan) that literally means “their flight.” Even though Nisan usually corresponds with March/April on the Roman calendar, and even though modern Jewish communities celebrate their New Year on the first day of the seventh month (Oct.-Nov.), Nisan is the first month of the “appointed feasts of the Lord.” The 14th of the month of “their flight” looks back to the origin of the first Passover and to the birth of the nation of Israel. Ever since Israel’s exodus from Egypt in about 1450 BC, the God of the Bible has asked His people to use this day to remember how He delivered their ancestors from the idols and slave-yards of Egypt. Passover’s intent has been honored. On the 14th of Nisan, observant Jewish fathers tell their children how the God of their fathers delivered their ancestors from economic bondage and spiritual darkness. It is at the feast of Passover that Jewish parents still describe how God used 10 plagues to break the stubborn grip of the Pharaoh. The plagues began with the “killing of the Nile River,” which was worshiped by the Egyptians as a source of life. The plagues ended only after God took the life of every firstborn son of Egypt. That final decisive plague came during the full moon of Nisan 14. Moses, the leader of the Jewish people, had instructed every Israelite home to sacrifice a lamb, collect its blood—the biblical sign of life—and with a hyssop brush paint the lamb’s blood on the lintel and door posts of their houses. On the evening of that first Passover, the Lord visited Egypt as an angel of death. According to the Scriptures, the Lord took the life of every firstborn people and livestock included—except where He found blood on the doorway. Only where there was blood on the doorway did He “pass over” and spare the life of the firstborn in that home. To understand the killing of the paschal (Passover) lamb, it’s important to know that in Egyptian society the lamb, or ram (a male sheep), represented a pagan god of the Egyptians named Amon (also spelled Amun, Amen, or Ammon). Amon, whose name means “hidden one,” was considered the king of the gods and the source of all life on heaven and earth. According to the Egyptian zodiac, Nisan was the chief month of this god, and the 15th of that month during the full moon was believed to be the apex of Amon’s powers. To the Egyptians the killing of a lamb was a desecration of their religion! The Passover sacrifice was a direct challenge to their gods. The lamb was so sacred in Egyptian cult practice that the people of the land  were forbidden to even touch a ram, let alone bring it into their home, slaughter it, roast, and then eat it as God commanded the Israelites to do. To the Egyptians the killing of a lamb was a desecration of their religion! The Passover sacrifice was a direct challenge to their gods. To the Jewish people, the same sacrifice fulfilled a promise of the Almighty: “Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.” (Exodus 12:12) On the celebrated day of Amon, and at the alleged peak of his powers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob not only overcame Pharaoh, but desecrated the worship of Amon and gave the Egyptian people reason to believe in the God of Israel. (Israel's Spring Feasts)

Darrell Bock adds "The irony is not to be missed. Luke intends to show the distortion of perspective that accompanies sin, especially when it is the sin of rejecting Jesus." (IVP New Testament Commentary Series – Luke)

Bock in another source writes "The setting is full of irony. In the midst of this holiday season that celebrates life, the leadership schemes to end the life of one who comes to bring life." (Baker Exegetical Commentary)

William Hendriksen - A reasonable assumption is that Jesus was crucified in the year a.d. 30, when the fourteenth day of Nisan fell on Thursday, and the fifteenth on Friday. In Israel the first appearance of the new moon marked the beginning of the new month. It was marked by the blowing of trumpets, sacrifices, celebrations, suspension of ordinary business, and wherever necessary by signal fires (Num. 10:10; 28:11-14; Ps. 81:3-5; Amos 8:5, 6). The important days of the month—for example, the tenth of the month Nisan, when the Passover lamb was selected, the killing of the lamb on the fourteenth, etc.—were figured from the first day, or day of the new moon, as a base. See the detailed regulations in Exod. 12:1-14; Num. 9:2-14; Deut. 16:1; cf. Esther 3:7. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

NET Note on Feast of Unleavened Bread - The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a week long celebration that followed the day of Passover, so one name was used for both feasts (Exod 12:1–20; 23:15; 34:18; Deut 16:1–8). 

A T Robertson - Both names (Unleavened Bread and Passover) are used here as in Mark 14:1+. Strictly speaking the Passover was Nisan 14 and the Unleavened Bread 15-21. This is the only place in the N.T. where the expression "the feast of unleavened bread" (common in LXX, Ex. 23:15, etc.) occurs, for Mark 14:1+ has just "the unleavened bread." Matthew 26:17 uses unleavened bread and passover interchangeably. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Lenski - The festival was called ta azuma, "The Unleavened" (things), or as here, "The Festival of the Unleavened" (neuter plural, "bread" is added in the English only to round out the thought) because of the removal of all leaven from the homes for the seven days from the 14th to the 21st of Nisan, the 14th that year being a Thursday. Luke adds the other Jewish name "Passover," pascha, Hebrew Pesach, which is derived from Jehovah's passing over Israel to shield it from the death angel. (The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Warren Wiersbe - Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles were the three most important feasts on the Jewish calendar (Lev. 23); and all the Jewish men were expected to go to Jerusalem each year to celebrate (Deut. 16:16). The Feast of Passover commemorated the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and it was a time for both remembering and rejoicing (Ex. 11-12)....Passover had strong political overtones, and it was the ideal time for some would-be messiah to attempt to overthrow Rome. This explains why King Herod and Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, were in Jerusalem instead of being at Tiberius and Caesarea respectively. They wanted to help keep the peace.  It is incredible that these men perpetrated history's greatest crime during Israel's holiest festival. During Passover, the Jews were expected to remove all leaven (yeast) from their houses (Ex. 12:15) as a reminder that their ancestors left Egypt in haste and had to eat unleavened bread. Jesus had warned His disciples about the "leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy" (Luke 12:1; also see Matt 16:6; 1 Cor. 5:1-8), and now we see this hypocrisy at work. The religious leaders had cleansed their homes but not their hearts (see Matt. 23:25-28). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

MacArthur -  This Passover would be the last divinely authorized one. From this point on there would be a new memorial—not one recalling the lambs' blood on the doorposts but the blood of the Lamb of God (John 1:29,36; Rev. 5:6; 6:9; 7:10,17; 14:4,10; 15:3; 19:9; 22:1,3) "poured out for many for forgiveness of sins" (Mt. 26:28). The Last Supper celebrated by the Lord with His disciples gave Him opportunity to use the elements of the Passover meal to form a transition from the old covenant Passover to the new covenant Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26). (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – John)

Rod Mattoon - The Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be observed by eating unleavened bread. In fact, no leaven or leavened bread was to be eaten and no leaven was to be seen or allowed in the home. The home was completely scoured of any kind of leaven. Exodus 13:7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters." The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a picture of our relationship and walk with God. Leaven is a type or symbol of sin in the Bible. As leaven was removed from Jewish homes, we are to remove sinful habits, actions, attitudes, and associations from our lives. We are to get the leaven of sinful living out! It was Paul who told us to "put off or get some things out of our lives. (Colossians 3:8-9+) (Mattoon's Treasures from Luke)

Unleavened (106)(azumos from a = negative + zume = leaven) means free from yeast, without fermentation and speaks of unleavened bread, the Hebrew word matzoth, eaten by the Jews during Passover. Figuratively, undefiled or a life free from sinful corruption (1 Cor 5:7-8).  In the NT feast of unleavened bread is used to speak of the Passover (Mt. 26:17; Mk. 14:1; Mk. 14:12; Lk. 22:1; Lk. 22:7; Acts 12:3; Acts 20:6). 

Gilbrant observes that Pauls' use of azumos in 1 Corinthians "drew upon the cultic heritage of azumos to admonish his readers. Paul used the picture of the Jewish practice of removing all leavened food from the house before eating the Passover meal to admonish the Corinthians to rid themselves of the “leaven of malice and wickedness” (5:8, NIV). The Passover lamb, Christ, had already been sacrificed. And according to Jewish custom, when the Passover lamb had been slaughtered in the temple there must not be any leavened bread present in any house. This prohibition lasted as long as the Festival. Just as leaven polluted the Feast, so sin pollutes the life and fellowship of true believers in the new house of God. Christ demands renewal. Paul was particularly concerned here that the effects of the sexually immoral should not infiltrate and pollute (like yeast) the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 5:11). The believers must take action and expel the wicked from their midst (1 Corinthians 5:6-13). (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Azumos - 9x in 9v - All translated unleavened - Mt. 26:17; Mk. 14:1; Mk. 14:12; Lk. 22:1; Lk. 22:7; Acts 12:3; Acts 20:6; 1 Co. 5:7; 1 Co. 5:8

Azumos - 54x in 46v - 

Gen. 19:3; Exod. 12:8; Exod. 12:15; Exod. 12:18; Exod. 12:20; Exod. 12:39; Exod. 13:6; Exod. 13:7; Exod. 23:15; Exod. 29:2; Exod. 29:23; Exod. 34:18; Lev. 2:4; Lev. 2:5; Lev. 6:16; Lev. 7:12; Lev. 8:2; Lev. 8:26; Lev. 10:12; Lev. 23:6; Num. 6:15; Num. 6:17; Num. 6:19; Num. 9:11; Num. 28:17; Deut. 16:3; Deut. 16:8; Deut. 16:16; Jos. 5:11; Jdg. 6:19; Jdg. 6:20; Jdg. 6:21; 1 Sam. 28:24; 2 Ki. 23:9; 1 Chr. 23:29; 2 Chr. 8:13; 2 Chr. 30:13; 2 Chr. 30:21; 2 Chr. 30:22; 2 Chr. 35:17; Ezr. 6:22; Ezek. 45:21;

Robert Stein - Originally the Passover was a one-day feast that preceded by a day the Feast of Unleavened Bread, i.e., it was celebrated on the 14th of Nisan. In NT times, however, in popular thinking, the Passover was the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In the Talmud Jesus’ death is also associated with the Passover (Sanhedrin folio 43a).  (New American Commentary – Volume 24: Luke)

This is a fascinating side note: The Jewish Talmud describes the death of the Passover Lamb of God on the Passover! And yet the Jewish scholars remained blind to the truth for "their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ." (2 Cor 3:14)

Sanhedrin folio 43a records - On the eve of the Passover Yeshu (34)  was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!"

Passover (3957)(pascha) is the transliteration of the Hebrew word pesach/pesah (06453) which is a masculine noun thought by some writers (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon) to have its origin from pacach/pasah which apparently means to pass over; to spare (Ex 12:13, 23, 27 - "Jehovah will pass"). Depending on the context, pascha refers to the Passover lamb (Lk 22:7), the Passover meal (Lk 22:8), or the festival of Passover (Lk 22:1).

The Passover as used in Lk 22:1 is combined with the Feast of Unleavened Bread by Luke in a metonymy (one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it's closely associated)  writing "the Feast of Unleavened Bread…called the Passover, was approaching." (Lk 22:1) 

Rooker adds that "These two ceremonies were apparently combined at the beginning, for the Passover lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread (Ex 12:8)." (New American Commentary).

The whole feast, including the paschal eve, is called the festival of Unleavened Bread (Ex 23:15; Lv 23:6; Ezra 6:22; Lu 22:1, 7; Acts 12:3; 20:6); but the simple name “Passover” (when they celebrate the "Passover Seder") is the one commonly used by the Jews to the present day for the festival of Unleavened Bread (2Chr 30:15; 35:1, 11; Mk 14:1)

Zodhiates on pascha - The Passover, an exemption, immunity (Sept.: Ex. 12:11, 21). The great sacrifice and festival of the Jews which was instituted in commemoration of God's sparing the Jews when He destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians. It was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan. For the institution and particular laws of this festival see Ex. 12; Lev. 23:5; Num. 9:2-6. The later Jews made some additions. In particular they drank four cups of wine at various intervals during the paschal supper. The third of these cups, called the cup of benediction, is referred to in 1 Cor. 10:16 (cf. Matt. 26:27). In the NT, tó páscha, the Passover, may refer to the festival or to the paschal lamb. (I) The paschal lamb, a year-old lamb or kid, slain as a sacrifice (Ex 12:27). According to Josephus, the number of lambs sacrificed at Jerusalem in his time was 256,500. They were slain between the ninth and eleventh hour, which is from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (ANOTHER SOURCE: The lamb was slain "between the two evenings" (twilight Ex 12:6, Lev 23:5; Nu 9:3, 5, 11), "between 3 p.m. and sunset" Edersheim - see also NET Note below). Metaphorically used of Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). (II) Páscha also referred to the paschal supper as the commencement of the seven day festival of unleavened bread called tá ázuma <G106>. See Ex. 12:15ff.; Lev. 23:5ff. (A) It was used of the paschal supper alone (Matt. 26:18 meaning to keep or celebrate the paschal supper). Heb. 11:28 means that Moses instituted and kept the Passover (Sept.: Ex. 12:48; Num. 9:4ff.). (B) In a wider sense it also included the seven days of unleavened bread, the paschal festival (Matt. 26:2; Mark 14:1+; Luke 2:41; 22:1; John 2:13, 23; 6:4; 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:39; 19:14; Acts 12:4). The whole Passover is sometimes called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. See ázumos <G106>, unleavened; arníon <G721>, lamb; amnós <G286>, sacrificial lamb; arén <G704>, lamb. (C) The expression "to eat the pass-over" means to keep the festival (Matt. 26:17; Mark 14:12, 14; Luke 22:11, 15; John 18:28; Sept.: Ex. 12:43 [cf. 2 Chr. 30:18]); "to make ready the passover" (a.t.) means to prepare for eating (Matt. 26:19; Mark 14:16; Luke 22:8, 13); to kill the passover (Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7; Sept.: Ex. 12:21; Deut. 16:2, 5, 6). (Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament)

NET Note on when the Lamb was slain in Exodus 12:6 - "Twilight" = Heb "between the two evenings" or "between the two settings" (ben ha'arbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Targum Onq. says "between the two suns," which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first "evening" would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second "evening" the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Dt 16:6 – "at the going down of the sun"). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3–5 P.M. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 P.M. – anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89–90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps. 

ISBE on Passover - The Passover was the annual Hebrew festival on the evening of the 14th day (Wikipedia says 15th day) of the month of Abib or Niṣan , as it was called in later times. It was followed by, and closely connected with, a 7 days' festival of unleavened bread, to which the name Passover was also applied by extension (Leviticus 23:5+ and here in Luke 22:1). Both were distinctly connected with the Exodus, which, according to tradition, they commemorate; the Passover being in imitation of the last meal in Egypt, eaten in preparation for the journey, while Yahweh, passing over the houses of the Hebrews, was slaying the firstborn of Egypt (Ex 12:12f; Ex 13:2, Ex 13:12ff); the festival of unleavened bread being in memory of the first days of the journey during which this bread of haste was eaten (Ex 12:14-20).

Pascha - 29x in 27v - all translated Passover

Matt. 26:2; Matt. 26:17; Matt. 26:18; Matt. 26:19; Mk. 14:1; Mk. 14:12; Mk. 14:14; Mk. 14:16; Lk. 2:41; Lk. 22:1; Lk. 22:7; Lk. 22:8; Lk. 22:11; Lk. 22:13; Lk. 22:15; Jn. 2:13; Jn. 2:23; Jn. 6:4; Jn. 11:55; Jn. 12:1; Jn. 13:1; Jn. 18:28; Jn. 18:39; Jn. 19:14; Acts 12:4; 1 Co. 5:7; Heb. 11:28

Pascha - 29x in 28v in the Septuagint - always of the Passover

Exod. 12:11; Exod. 12:21; Exod. 12:27; Exod. 12:43; Exod. 12:48; Exod. 34:25; Lev. 23:5; Num. 9:2; Num. 9:4; Num. 9:6; Num. 9:10; Num. 9:12; Num. 9:13; Num. 9:14; Num. 28:16; Num. 33:3; Deut. 16:1; Deut. 16:2; Deut. 16:5; Deut. 16:6; Jos. 5:10; 2 Ki. 23:21; 2 Ki. 23:22; 2 Ki. 23:23; Ezr. 6:19; Ezr. 6:20; Ezr. 6:21; Ezek. 45:21; 

William Barclay gives us some background details on the annual Passover festival - There were elaborate preparations for the Passover. Roads were repaired; bridges were made safe; wayside tombs were whitewashed lest the pilgrim should fail to see them, and so touch them and become unclean. For a month before, the story and meaning of the Passover was the subject of the teaching of every synagogue. Two days before the Passover there was in every house a ceremonial search for leaven. The householder took a candle and solemnly searched every nook and cranny in silence, and the last particle of leaven was thrown out. Every male Jew, who was of age and who lived within 15 miles of the holy city, was bound by law to attend the Passover. But it was the ambition of every Jew in every part of the world (as it is still) to come to the Passover in Jerusalem at least once in his lifetime. To this day, when Jews keep the Passover in every land they pray that they may keep it next year in Jerusalem. Because of this vast numbers came to Jerusalem at the Passover time. Cestius was governor of Palestine in the time of Nero and Nero tended to belittle the importance of the Jewish faith. To convince Nero of it, Cestius took a census of the lambs slain at one particular Passover. Josephus tells us that the number was 256,500. The law laid it down that the minimum number for a Passover celebration was 10. That means that on this occasion, if these figures are correct, there must have been more that 2,700,000 pilgrims to the Passover. It was in a city crowded like that that the drama of the last days of Jesus was played out.The atmosphere of Passover time was always inflammable. The headquarters of the Roman government was at Caesarea, and normally only a small detachment of troops was stationed at Jerusalem; but for the Passover season many more were drafted in. (Luke 22 Commentary)

Rob Mattoon adds "The Passover lamb was slain at the end of the 14th between 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. As many as a quarter of a million lambs were slain at this time. Where did all the thousands of gallons of blood from these slain lambs go? How did they get rid of it? The answer is there was a drain at the base of the altar where it flowed (Leviticus 1:11, 13; 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34). Huge amounts of water were poured into the altar's drainage system to flush the blood of these lambs. The Temple Mount was on a hill with a flat limestone surface. The drains emptied the blood into the Brook Kidron in the Kidron Valley that was below the Temple. Normally, this valley was dry throughout the year, but with the spring rains that came at Passover, the valley was turned into a flowing brook of water that would become a crimson stream as the blood of the lambs flowed into the water.  (Treasures from Luke: Volume Six)

William Barclay writes that "From the altar there was a channel down to the brook Kedron, and through that channel the blood of the Passover lambs drained away. When Jesus crossed the brook Kedron it would still be red with the blood of the lambs which had been sacrificed.”

Spurgeon - The very brook would remind him of his approaching sacrifice, for through it flowed the blood and refuse from the temple. (Luke 22 Exposition)

Related Resource:

Was approaching (1448)(eggizo) can speak of nearness in terms of space or time and in this context means drawing near in time and thus indicates the feast was at hand.

The other two synoptic accounts are more specific, Mark for example writing "the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away." (Mk 14:1).

Matthew adds Jesus specific timing in the form of a prophecy writing "When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”  (Mt 26:1-2). 

Eggizo is used several times in the context of the Lord's Passion -

Mt 26:45-46 (Mk 14:42) Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand (eggizo) and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand (eggizo) !

Lk 22:47 While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached (eggizo) Jesus to kiss Him.

Lk 24:15 (AFTER THE RESURRECTION) While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached (eggizo) and began traveling with them.

Related Resources:


Note that each of the Seven Great Feasts has a specific eschatological (prophetic) fulfillment. The four Spring feasts have been fulfilled at the First Coming of the Messiah. The final three feasts will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of the Messiah when He returns to to establish His Kingdom (cf Lk 17:20ff+, Lk 22:18+) and fulfill God's literal promises to the literal nation of Israel, promises which are summarized by Paul when he wrote "all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” (Ro 11:26+)




1st Month = Nisan
Festival of Passover

3rd Month = Sivan
Feast of Pentecost


7th Month = Tishri
Festival of Booths
(Tabernacles) (Sukkot)




of Weeks

of Trumpets

Day of

of Booths

Lamb's blood on Door
Ex 12:6-7

Purging Leaven (Sin)

Wave Offering (Promise of Harvest to come)

Wave Offering of two loaves of leavened bread (promise of harvest to come)

Trumpet Blown -
A Holy Convocation

Atonement shall be made to cleanse you
Lev 16:30+

Celebrates harvest, memorial of God's care in wilderness

1st Month, 14th Day
Lev 23:5

1st Month, 15th Day
Lev 23:6-8
(1st & 8th are Sabbath)

Day after Sabbath
Lev 23:9-14

50 Days after first fruits
Lev 23:14-21

7th Month, 1st Day
Lev 23:23-25+
(A Sabbath)

7th Month, 10th Day
Lev 23:26-32+
(A Sabbath)

7th Mo, 15th Day
7 Days;
Convocation on 8th Day Lev 23:33-44
(1st & 8th are Sabbath)

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed

Clean out the old leaven… just as you are in fact unleavened

Christ has been raised… the first fruits

Promise of the Spirit, Mystery of Church - Jews and Gentiles in one body

Regathering of Israel before final day of atonement
Jer 32:37-41+

Israel repents and looks to Christ in one day
Zech 3:9-10,
Zech 12:10+,
Zech 13:1+,
Zech 14:9+

All families come to Jerusalem for Feast of Booths
Zech 14:16-19+

1Cor 5:7

1Cor 5:7-8

1Cor 15:20-23

Acts 2:1-47
1 Cor 2:13
Eph 2:11-12


Ezekiel 36:24+

Ezekiel 36:25-27+
Heb 9-10
Ro 11:25-29+

Ezek 36:28+

Luke 22:2   The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.

KJV Luke 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

  • Luke 19:47,48; 20:19; Ps 2:1-5; Mt 21:38,45,46; Mt 26:3-5; John 11:47-53,57; Acts 4:27
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Parallel Passages on the Plot to Kill Jesus:

Matthew 26:3-5  Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; 4 and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth (dolos - craft, deceit) and kill Him. 5 But they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people.”

Compare Jesus' previous parable in Matthew 21:38; 45; 46 “But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’...(21:45) When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them....(21:46) When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet.

Comment: "Matthew’s account follows Mark quite closely but adds a few details of its own. It links the setting with the previous teaching of Jesus on the last judgment (Matt 25:31–46) and records Jesus uttering another Passion prediction on the very threshold of the Passover celebration. It thus heightens the tension as the decisive hour draws near, and solemnly declares the betrayal and the ensuing crucifixion (Matt 26:1–2). In addition, Matthew notes that the plot to kill Jesus was hatched “at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest” (Matt 26:3), thus highlighting the fact that Jesus came to his own people, and yet they tragically rejected him (cf. John 1:11+), even planning his execution in the house of the high priest (ED: NOTE THE TRAGIC IRONY - THE HIGH PRIEST WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE LEADER OF WORSHIP INSTEAD IS THE LEADER IN PLOTTING THE DEATH OF THE MOST HIGH GOD! "RELIGION" CAN BE A TREACHEROUS THING IN THE WRONG HANDS!)." (Trites)

Mark 14:1-2+  Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were (ACTIVELY) seeking how to seize Him by stealth (dolos) and kill Him; 2 for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.

John gives  the most detailed background of the conspiracy to kill Jesus, their evil desires coming to a head so to speak with Jesus' miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead:

John 11:43-53, When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” 44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”  45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.  57 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him....57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him.

The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death - Up to this time in the ministry of Jesus, the Pharisees were His chief opposition, but as He approaches the Cross the high priests take control of the opposition. As alluded to above, the tragic irony is that the very men who should have been leading Israel to the way, the truth and the life, were the very ones plotting to kill the only One Who is Himself "the Way, the Truth and the Life," the only One through Whom one could receive eternal access to God the Father (John 14:6, Acts 4:12+) and entrance into the Kingdom of God (cf Jn 3:3), the very Kingdom which the Jews were thinking Jesus would soon bring to fruition (cf Lk 19:11+, "the King" in Lk 19:38+).

The religious leaders' plot will soon become much easier to carry out as the last piece of the puzzle falls into place when one of Jesus' inner circle decides to betray the Lord. As you contemplate outworking of these evil deeds by evil men in Jesus' Passion, remember that behind the scenes is God, controlling even the darkest aspects of the drama. And so we see the mysterious juxtaposition of God's sovereignty over these events and men's responsibility for carrying our their heinous acts in Peter's declaration in his first sermon in Jerusalem...

This Man (JESUS), delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God (DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY), you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death (HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY). (Acts 2:23).

J C Ryle writes that "high offices in the church do not preserve the holders of them from great blindness and sin." (Luke 22 Commentary)

IVP Background Commentary- Jewish literature reports that the high priests bullied those who opposed them. 

What the Bible teaches - Throughout the Gospel records, opposition to the Lord Jesus came chiefly from the Pharisees and their scribes, but as the intention to kill Him became their main purpose, the chief priests, who held the political power and were motivated by envy (Mk 15:10), took charge. However, their power was limited by the people on one hand, whom they feared, and the Roman authority on the other, which made it unlawful for them "to put any man to death" (Jn 18:31); only the Roman governor had this power (Lk 20:20; Jn 19:10). The many pilgrims who were present in Jerusalem for the Passover were still ready to listen to the Lord, and the crafty priests were not willing to risk an uprising of the people.

Rod Mattoon - These were the religious leaders and teachers in the community. They were part of the Sanhedrin, the 71-member, supreme court of Israel. They made sure their homes were clean of leaven, but unfortunately their hearts were filthy. They were gripped by sin, bitterness, and jealousy. These men illustrate that religion without Christ is nothing at all. It is empty and powerless. If you are a Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist, if you do not have Jesus Christ in your heart, you have nothing. Your label is not going to get you into Heaven. Good deeds, religious works do not gain favor with God without Christ in the picture. Yet, many are depending on these deeds to gain eternal life. Unfortunately, they will spend eternity in Hell (Mt 7:22-23+)....Religious people can become pawns in the hands of Satan to do his bidding. That is a sobering thought. When a person is gripped by sin, the heart becomes rigid, rebellious, resentful, reckless, without respect and reverence for the Lord. This is why we are repeatedly warned to guard against a hard heart, so that we will not store up God's punishment upon ourselves. (Heb 3:13+, Ro 2:5+) (Mattoon's Treasures  from Luke)

Fruchtenbaum -   The leaders of Israel are in unison on their desire to kill Jesus. Their conspiracy has TWO goals: (1) They want to find a way to arrest Jesus away from the multitude to avoid a riot breaking out. (2). They want to avoid killing Him on the Passover. This goal is in keeping with Satan’s plan to kill Jesus but avoid fulfilling the prophetic nature of the Feast of Passover. But we see that despite Satan’s best efforts God is the one who is in control, and Jesus’ death occurred when it was ordained to occur. Previous attempts to kill Jesus had been unsuccessful, as they had not been at the appointed time. In order for the atonement to be made Jesus HAD to die during this Passover, and He HAD to die by crucifixion. Read Isaiah 53:5+, and Psalm 22:11-18. If that were not the case God could have allowed the death of the Messiah Jesus to happen at any other time by any other means. But He ordained the feasts of Israel as a prophetic template in which He would accomplish His purposes towards Israel and mankind in general. (Life of Messiah)

Chief priests (749)(archiereus) in the plural denotes members of the Sanhedrin (Wikipedia) who belonged to high priestly families (Mt 2:4; Lk 23:13; Ac 4:23) and would include the current high priest, Caiaphas (Mt 26:3), a Sadducee, the leader of the Sanhedrin, and the former high priest Annas, who still wielded significant influence behind the scenes. 

Scribes (1122)(grammateus) most of whom were Pharisees were those skilled in the law of Moses and rabbinic literature (Mt 2:4; 23:2, 13ff; Mk 2:16; Lk 9:22; Acts 6:12). It always amazes me that the Scribes were the Biblical experts and thus would have (or should have) been familiar with the Messianic Prophecies (>300 specific prophecies), the very prophecies that were perfectly fulfilled in the God-Man Christ Jesus! Sin blinds our spiritual eyesight. Sin makes it impossible to see truth in the Scriptures! It follows that before you go to the Word of God, go to the God of the Word and confess any sin that might impede the illuminating work of God's Spirit. (cf 1 Jn 1:6-7+, 1 Jn 1:9+) To read the Word, without allowing God's Spirit to "read your heart" (cf Jn 16:8) is an exercise in futility.

They were seeking - The NLT says they "were plotting how to kill Jesus." The NET has they "were trying to find some way to execute Jesus." Luke makes it abundantly clear that the Jewish leadership had "crossed the Rubricon" (so to speak) and there was no turning back. The Man Jesus was going to die, and all that remained was to determine how it should happen. This is the nature of sin isn't it? When its grip entangles us tighter and tighter, it seems that escape is no longer possible. Such was certainly the case for the chief priests and scribes who had determined Jesus' destiny was to die, not realizing that they were at the same time determining their eternal destiny! To reject Jesus' eternal pardon guarantees receipt of His eternal punishment

Seeking (imperfect tense - again and again, constantly on watch for an opportunity to seize Jesus)(2212)(zeteo) means these evil men were continually trying to discover some way to destroy Jesus, thus it is not surprising that this verb zeteo is used repeatedly by the Gospel writes to describe the efforts of the Jewish religious leaders to seize and destroy Jesus (Mt 21:46,  26:16 , Mt 26:59, Mk 11:18, 12:12, Mk 14:1, 11, 55, Lk 19:47, 20:19 , Lk. 20:19, 22:2, 22:6,  John 5:18, 7:1, 7:25, 7:30, Jn 8:37, 8:40, 10:39, 11:8, Jn 18:4, 7, 8)

Mark adds the detail that they "were seeking how to seize Him by stealth (dolos) and kill Him." (Mark 14:1+)

Matthew adds more detail writing "Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him." (Matthew 26:3-4)

John MacArthur makes an important point - Despite that hostility, the blame the Jews have borne over the centuries for Christ’s death is unconscionable. Some who call themselves Christians have derided and persecuted them as “Christ-killers.” But it was Jews in first-century Israel who wanted Jesus dead and blackmailed Pilate into executing Him. That provides no justifiable reason for unscrupulous people to persecute the entire Jewish race. To use what people in that generation did to Jesus as justification for hate crimes, pogroms, and holocausts against the Jewish people is anything but Christian. Such bigotry does not come from God, who loves and will one day redeem Israel (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:25-27; Zech. 12:10-13:1; Ro 11:26), and who pronounces a curse on those who curse Israel (Gen. 12:3). Nor does it characterize true Christians; it is anti-Christian and evil. It is true that the leaders and people of that era bore responsibility for Christ’s death, and if they did not repent and confess Him as Lord, they were judged by God for their rejection of the Son. But the same can be said for the Romans, and for every other person, Jew or Gentile, who rejects Jesus Christ. And ultimately, as noted above, Christ’s death was according to God’s plan (Isa. 53:10; Acts 2:23). (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Luke 18-24)

Put to death (get rid of by execution)(337)(anaireo from ana = up + haireo = to take) literally means to take up or lift up (from the ground), which is used literally to describe Pharaoh's daughter when she "took him (Moses) away and nurtured him as her own son." (Acts 7:21). In the figurative sense in Heb 10:9 the writer of Hebrews says "He takes away (in sense of to abolish, invalidate) the first (the OT sacrificial system described in Heb 10:8) in order to establish the second (the new, once for all time sacrifice of Christ)." Most of the uses of anaireo are used in an active sense to refer to literal killing or putting to death (Mt. 2:16; Acts 5:36; 7:28; 9:23, 24, 29; 16:27; 23:15, 21, 27; 25:3). Anaireo speaks of public execution (Luke 23:32; Acts 2:23; 10:39; 12:2; 13:28; 22:20; 26:10). 

BDAG has "to get rid of by execution, do away with, destroy, of pers. τινά someone, mostly of killing by violence, in battle, by execution, murder, or assassination." (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature)

Luke uses this verb in the next chapter - "Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him." (Lk 23:32+)

It is interesting that this same verb is used to describe the slaying of the Christ and the Antichrist, Paul recording that...

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

Gilbrant - Both the active and middle forms of this word have their own series of meanings in classical Greek. The definition, “to take up, take away” (from ana, “up” and aireō, “to take”), is expanded to mean “to do away with” (i.e., “to kill”), “to appoint” (of an oracle’s answer), “to collect,” and “to undertake” (Liddell-Scott). It is used with the general meaning of “taking up” or “bearing away”—for instance, the carrying off of prizes or the taking up of bodies for burial. Furthermore, the term is employed for the repealing of laws, customs, etc., or for the destroying of an argument (ED: cf NT use in Heb 10:9). Often it denotes the killing or destroying of something or someone by violent means such as war or assassination. Twelve different Hebrew words are translated by anaireō in the Septuagint. No single term predominates although nākhâh (“to destroy”), hāragh (“to kill” or “be killed”), and mûth (“to kill”) do appear more frequently than others. This verb (as well as its cognate noun anairesis [334]) predominantly signifies a violent death, especially in reference to people (Genesis 4:15; Exodus 2:14; 21:29; Numbers 31:19; 35:31; 2 Samuel 10:18; Isaiah 11:4; Jeremiah 4:31; Judith 15:4; 2 Maccabees 5:13; cf. the pseudepigraphic Epistle of Aristeas 166). So a common meaning of the verb is “to assassinate, to execute,” or “to murder.” The meaning of anaireō, “to take up (and carry off)” is plainly suggested in the New Testament (cf. Acts 7:21 of Pharaoh’s daughter’s “taking” of Moses from the river; cf. Hebrews 10:9). When it is used of persons it means “to kill,” clearly referring to the experience of death that involves the separation of soul and body and which brings to an end man’s earthly course of life (Matthew 2:16; Luke 22:2; 23:32; Acts 2:23; 5:33; 7:28; 23:15,21; 25:3). In 2 Thessalonians 2:8 anaireō refers to the destruction of the Antichrist (in some manuscripts). In Acts 16:27, with “himself” (heauton), it means “to commit suicide.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary 

Anaireo - 27x in 23v - do away(1), executed(1), kill(4), killed(2), death(8), put to death(3), slain(1), slay(3), slaying(1), slew(1), takes away(1), took...away(1).

Matt. 2:16; Lk. 22:2; Lk. 23:32; Acts 2:23; Acts 5:33; Acts 5:36; Acts 7:21; Acts 7:28; Acts 9:23; Acts 9:24; Acts 9:29; Acts 10:39; Acts 12:2; Acts 13:28; Acts 16:27; Acts 22:20; Acts 23:15; Acts 23:21; Acts 23:27; Acts 25:3; Acts 26:10; 2 Th. 2:8; Heb. 10:9

Anaireo - 85x in 82v in the Septuagint

Gen. 4:15; Exod. 2:5; Exod. 2:10; Exod. 2:14; Exod. 2:15; Exod. 15:9; Exod. 21:29; Num. 16:37; Num. 31:19; Num. 35:31; Deut. 13:15; Jos. 4:3; Jos. 4:5; Jos. 9:26; Jos. 11:12; Jos. 11:17; Jos. 12:1; Jos. 12:7; Jdg. 8:21; Jdg. 9:45; 2 Sam. 10:18; 1 Ki. 2:25; 1 Ki. 2:29; 1 Ki. 2:31; 1 Ki. 4:20; Job 5:2; Job 6:9; Job 20:16; Isa. 11:4; Isa. 14:30; Isa. 26:21; Isa. 27:1; Isa. 27:7; Isa. 27:8; Isa. 28:6; Isa. 37:36; Isa. 65:15; Jer. 4:31; Jer. 7:32; Jer. 18:21; Jer. 26:15; Jer. 26:19; Jer. 26:24; Jer. 38:4; Jer. 38:25; Jer. 41:8; Ezek. 26:6; Ezek. 26:8; Ezek. 26:11; Ezek. 28:9; Dan. 1:16; Dan. 2:13; Dan. 2:14; Dan. 5:19; Dan. 5:30; Dan. 7:11;

For (gar) -  Term of explanation. What is Luke explaining? Because of Jesus' popularity, they had to keep seeking for a time when He was not surrounded by the crowd.

They were afraid of the people - What were the religious leaders afraid of? While Luke does not say, clearly they feared inciting a riot (Mt 26:5, Mk 14:2) as Jesus was still very popular among the Jews. (cf Lk 20:6+) The tide had not yet turned. There were still Messianic expectations among the people. They were still hopeful Jesus would bring in the Kingdom of God (see Lk 17:20-21 notes). So the leaders had a dangerous dilemma. 

Mark writes "they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.”  (Mk 14:2, cp Mt 26:5) And of course the problem with a riot was that it would provoke swift Roman intervention. 

A T Robertson - The triumphal entry and the temple speeches of Jesus had revealed his tremendous power with the people, especially the crowds from Galilee at the feast. They were afraid to go on with their plan to kill him at the feast. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

This section is filled with irony, and here we see the sad irony that the Jewish leaders feared men but did not fear God! The feared the crowds more than they feared the crime. They were not afraid to kill the Son of God but were afraid of what the crowds might do! Beloved, we need to look out when we are more concerned with what people think than with what God thinks about us. We are in danger of becoming entrapped as a pawn of peer pressure! Pr 29:25 (note) says "The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted." Notice the antidote for fear in this verse. What do you observe? The antithesis if fear is faith, trusts in Jehovah.

Spurgeon - Dastardly fear often drives men to the greatest crimes. He who is not brave enough to be master of his own spirit, and to follow the dictates of his own conscience, may do, before long, he little knows what. Because of the fear of the people, the chief priests and scribes were driven to compass the death of Christ by craft, and to bring him to his death by the cruel betrayal of Judas, one of his own apostles. (Luke 22 Exposition)

Were afraid (5399)(phobeo from phobos = fear source of our English "phobia") means to be in an apprehensive state that can range from mild uneasiness to stark terror as when one is frightened, terrified or alarmed. 

Luke 19:47-48-note gives us a clue as to why the leaders may have been afraid

And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said

Matthew and Mark explain the fear of the leaders and show us that God was in total control of every detail of His Son's death...

Matthew 26:5  But they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise a riot (thorubus - scroll down) might occur among the people.”

John Calvin commenting on Mt 26:5 - They did not think it a fit season, till the festival was past, and the crowd was dispersed. Hence we infer that, although those hungry dogs eagerly opened their mouths to devour Christ, or rather, rushed furiously upon him, still God withheld them, by a secret restraint, from doing any thing by their deliberation or at their pleasure. So far as lies in their power, they delay till another time; but, contrary to their wish, God hastens the hour. And it is of great importance for us to hold, that Christ was not unexpectedly dragged to death by the violence of his enemies, but was led to it by the providence of God; for our confidence in the propitiation is founded on the conviction that he was offered to God as that sacrifice which God had appointed from the beginning. And therefore He determined that; His Son should be sacrificed on the very day of the Passover, that the ancient figure might give place to the only sacrifice of eternal redemption. Those who had no other design in view than to ruin Christ thought that another time would be more appropriate; but God, Who had appointed Him to be a sacrifice for the expiation of sins, selected a suitable day for contrasting the body with its shadow (Ed: OT "shadow" in Exodus 12 pointing to the Cross on Passover), by placing them together. Hence also we obtain a brighter display of the fruit of Christ’s suffering.. (Matthew Commentary)

Peter affirmed that God was in complete control declaring "this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." (Acts 2:23+).

Mark 14:2+  for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.” 

Comment: While these men reasoned "not during the festival" of the Passover, God had already overruled them even before the world was created because in His sovereign, pre-determined plan of redemption, His Son, our Redeemer, was scheduled from the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20+) to die as the Passover Lamb in our place. Nothing could deter the greatest event in history from occurring on the Father's timetable! What a mighty God we worship and serve!

J C Ryle - The very men who ought to have welcomed the Messiah, were the men who conspired to kill Him. The very pastors who ought to have rejoiced at the appearing of the Lamb of God, had the chief hand in slaying Him. They sat in Moses’ seat. They claimed to be “guides of the blind,” and “lights of them which were in darkness.” (Rom. 2:19.) They belonged to the tribe of Levi. They were, most of them, in direct succession and descent from Aaron. Yet they were the very men who crucified the Lord of glory! With all their boasted knowledge, they were far more ignorant than the few Galilean fishermen who followed Christ. Let us beware of attaching an excessive importance to ministers of religion because of their office. Orders and rank confer no exemption from error. The greatest heresies have been sown, and the greatest practical abuses introduced into the church by ordained men. Respect is undoubtedly due to high official position. Order and discipline ought not to be forgotten. The teaching and counsel of regularly appointed teachers ought not to be lightly refused.—But there are limits beyond which we must not go. We must never suffer the blind to lead us into the ditch. We must never allow modern chief priests and scribes to make us crucify Christ afresh. We must try all teachers by the unerring rule of the word of God. It matters little who says a thing in religion;—but it matters greatly what it is that is said. Is it scriptural? Is it true? This is the only question.—“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20.) (Luke 22 Commentary)

At this point the Gospels of Mark and Matthew deviate from Luke by recording the anointing of Jesus by Mary. Luke had described a similar anointing in Luke 7:36–50-note. What a striking contrast between the "giving gift" of Mary and the "grasping greed" of Judas. One desiring to glorify her Master with precious costly perfume and the other willing to sell out the Master for a few pieces of silver!

While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some (SURELY THIS WOULD INCLUDE JUDAS) were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. 8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” 10 Then (THIS TIME WORD IS AN IMPORTANT MARKER IN THE SEQUENCE. IT WAS AS IF MARY'S COSTLY ACT OF LOVE PROVOKED JUDAS TO CARRY OUT HIS DESPICABLE DEED) Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11 They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time. (Mk 14:3-11, cf Mt 26:6-15)

Comment on “Why has this perfume been wasted? - CALCULATING VALUE - Efficiency is the relentless taskmaster that drives all our decisions, all our proposals, all parts of our life, said French philosopher and theologian Jacques Ellul. Efficiency (he called it by a special term, la technique), pervades the church as well as the corporation. Everything we do is justified by its calculated contribution to established goals. Thus the disciples were quite modern to protest the "waste" of valuable oil. Jesus alerts us that efficiency is an inadequate governor for at least one crucial encounter: people with God. In worship, let efficiency take its place, but not a primary place. In evangelism, use resources wisely but do not calculate cost-benefits as accountants are trained to do. What appears to be waste may well bring Jesus supreme enjoyment, and that matters most. (Life Application Bible Commentary)

James Smith - Handfuls of Purpose -  CHRIST’S LAST PASSOVER Luke 22:1–23

    “With all His sufferings full in view,
      And woes to us unknown,
    Forth to the task His Spirit flew,
      ’Twas love that urged Him on.”

Lammenais says: “All that Christ asked of mankind, wherewith to save them, was a Cross whereon to die.” He got it without a grudge.

The word “passover” is derived from a verb meaning “to pass by,” or “to spare.” It was instituted in Egypt in the most solemn and suggestive circumstances (Exod. 12). Not a bone of the paschal lamb was to be broken. See how literally this was fulfilled in “Christ our passover” (John 19:33). This last passover was the final fulfilment of the first. Associated with it here we see—

I. Unreasonable Hate (vv. 1, 2). In seeking how they might “kill Him,” these chief priests and scribes manifested the diabolical enmity of their own hearts against the true character of Jehovah, whom they professed to worship. Little did they think that they were planning how to kill God’s “passover Lamb.” They hated Him without a cause.

II. Cruel Betrayal (vv. 3–6). Satan always finds a suitable instrument for his wicked work in a hypocritical professor. Satan entered Judas because the door of his heart stood open wide to every evil suggestion. The Devil’s bait for him was money, because he knew that he loved it, and that at heart he was a thief.

III. Special Provision (vv. 7–13). The guest-chamber was appointed by Christ, “a large upper room furnished,” to be noted for ever afterwards as a place connected with His death, resurrection, and with Pentecost. The place was there furnished for them, where Christ, God’s paschal Lamb, was “made ready” as a sacrifice for the sin of the world.

IV. Sacred Fellowship (vv. 14–18). There is intense longing in this desire of Christ to eat the passover with them before He would suffer. The awful shadow of the Cross, falling over His Spirit, seems but to intensify His love for His own. His love was stronger than death; many waters could not quench it. It was a hallowed time when He took the cup, saying, “Divide it among yourselves.” The cup of salvation, and also of the “fellowship of His sufferings.” Have we taken it?

V. Merciful Substitution (vv. 19, 20). The language is infinitely tender and unmistakable, “My body given for you.” “My blood shed for you.” If God is to pass over us in judgment, it must be because the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin. “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exod. 12:13). The atonement of Christ is the only covering for sin that can enable God righteously to “pass by,” justifying the believer in Jesus.

VI. Infallible Prophecy (vv. 21–23). “The Son of Man goeth as it was determined” (Luke 22:22). While with wicked hands they slew Him, yet His going was according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). In the purpose of God, Christ was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). The unbelief and wickedness of men shall never make void the eternal counsel of Jehovah. “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.”

Luke 22:3   And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.

KJV Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.


Parallel passages:

John 13:26-26  Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel (into a mixture of bitter herbs, vinegar, water, salt, crushed dates, figs, and raisins), He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (Judas spurned Christ's final gesture of love!) After the morsel (unleavened bread symbolic of without sin!), Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly (cf Mt 26:50).”

MacArthur Comments - At that moment the day of salvation (cf. 2 Cor. 6:2) ended for Judas; hell arrived as Satan then entered into him. (The Devil evidently gained direct control over Judas on two occasions: just before the betrayal was arranged in Luke 22:3, and in  Mt 26:50 as it was about to be carried out.) Divine mercy gave way to divine judgment and Judas was in essence handed over to Satan (cf. 1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Ti 1:20). He had spurned Christ's love for the last time, and his eternal doom was sealed. F.F. Bruce writes, "Jesus' action, in singling Judas out for a mark of special favour, may have been intended as a final appeal to him to abandon his treacherous plan and play the part of a true disciple. Up to that moment, the die had not been irrevocably cast. If Judas wavered for a second, it was only to steel himself to carry out his fatal resolution, to become the willing instrument of Satan whereas he might have been the free follower and messenger of his Master. Satan could not have entered into him had he not granted him admission. Had he been willing to say "No" to the adversary, all of his Master's intercessory power was available to him there and then to strengthen him. But when a disciple's will turns traitor, when the spiritual aid of Christ is refused, that person's condition is desperate indeed." (Ed thought: Is not this same "spiritual dynamic" in play when even we as believers are faced with a strong temptation calling for a decision of our will to sin or not to sin? Would not Christ strengthen us to fend off the temptation?) (The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983], 290)  (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – John)

J C Ryle on Satan entered into Judas - These words are peculiarly awful. To be tempted by Satan is bad enough. To be sifted, buffeted, led captive by him is truly terrible. But when Satan “enters into a man,” and dwells in him, the man becomes indeed a child of hell. Judas Iscariot ought to be a standing beacon to the church of Christ. This man, be it remembered, was one of our Lord’s chosen apostles. He followed our Lord during the whole course of His ministry. He forsook all for Christ’s sake. He heard Christ preach and saw Christ’s miracles. He preached himself. He spoke like the other apostles. There was nothing about him to distinguish him from Peter, James, and John. He was never suspected of being unsound at heart. And yet this man turns out at length a hypocrite, betrays his Master, helps his enemies to deliver Him up to death, and dies himself a “son of perdition.” (John 17:12.) These are fearful things. But they are true. Let the recollection of Judas Iscariot constrain every professing Christian to pray much for humility. Let us often say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Ps. 139:23.) At best we have but a faint conception of the deceitfulness of our hearts. The lengths to which men may go in religion, and yet be without grace, is far greater than we suppose. (Luke 22 Commentary)

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot - Mt 26:14 and Mk 14:10 do not tell us about the influence of Satan. Satan did not delegate this important task to one of his minions! This appears to be the first of two times Satan entered Judas (see note below). Some have speculated that these were "successive" stages. Even as Satan was the primary demonic influence to kill the Christ, in the last days he will function as the primary "energizer" of the Antichrist, John recording that the dragon, Satan, "gave his authority to the beast. There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for 42 months (1260 days, 3.5 years, "time, times half a time") was given to him." (Rev 13:4-5+) It is also worthy noting that only two men in all of history are referred to as  "the son of perdition (apoleia)", Judas (John 17:12), and the Antichrist, "the man of sin...the son of perdition (apoleia)"(2 Th 2:3KJV+).

As an aside, it is interesting that none of the Gospel accounts vilify Judas Iscariot. One might posit that they do not need to vilify, for the facts speak for themselves!

Luke described demonic entrance in Luke 8:30 "And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him."  (cf other examples of demons entering/controlling  - Luke 11:26; Acts 5:3; Mark 5:12–13). Is this full-blown demonic possession of Judas? It is difficult to state with certainty. Clearly Satan exert influence on Judas' subsequent actions.

The treachery of Judas was the result of a trend in his life.
-- Wycliffe Bible Commentary

Wycliffe Bible Commentary - The treachery of Judas was the result of a trend in his life. He had never taken an unselfish interest in Jesus. When the Lord made clear that he was not going to claim the throne of Israel but that he expected to die, Judas was disappointed, and resolved to save himself if possible. His attitude gave an opening for Satanic suggestion and control (cf. Jn 13:2,27). (Online)

Bock writes that "Why Judas succumbed has been the object of great speculation. Some suggest that he was disappointed that Jesus did not set up an earthly kingdom, while others argue that he was covetous, since he received money for his services. The text does not tell us explicitly, except to say that he was “of the devil” (cf. John 6:70). His betrayal reveals his true character and shows that standing close to Jesus does not in itself guarantee spiritual success if the heart is not allied properly to God." (Baker Exegetical Commentary)

The opportunity of a lifetime now irrevocably became the greatest example of lost opportunity and wasted privilege! To hear Jesus teach daily. To witness the countless miracles. To personally interact with the God-Man. And to refuse the opportunity of a lifetime in the face of such advantages is almost inconceivable! The tragic betrayal of Judas demonstrates the power of money to blind one to the One "in Who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col 2:3). Recall John's description of Judas as "a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it." (John 12:6). Judas is the perfect example of Paul's warning in 1 Timothy 6:10 that "the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Judas choose temporal riches over eternal salvation! This passage also shows that Satan is ever at work among God's flock, seeking to kill and destroy, just as Jesus had warned in the parable of the tares (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43). Note that Judas was never a believer as indicated by the fact that he was the one about whom Jesus had said "Not all of you are clean" (Jn 13:10-11) At Peter's confession, Jesus described Judas saying "one of you is a devil." (John 6:66-71).

Wiersbe comments that "We have every reason to believe that Judas had been given the same authority as the other men and that he had preached the same message and performed the same miracles. It shows how close a person can come to God's kingdom and still be lost (Mt. 7:21-29-note)...When you cooperate with Satan, you pay dearly, and Judas ended up destroying himself (Mt. 27:3-5). Satan is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44), and he reproduced himself perfectly in Judas." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Jesus Himself described how closely false believers can mimic true believers, even to the point of being able to perform supernatural acts...

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does (present tense = generally as one's lifestyle) the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ (NOTE THAT JESUS DOES NOT DENY THEY DID THESE SUPERNATURAL ACTS!) 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never (AT ANY TIME) knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE  (present tense = generally as one's lifestyle) LAWLESSNESS.’  (Mt. 7:21-23+)

William Barclay on Satan's entrance into Judas - Two things stand out. (i) Just as God is ever looking for men to be his instruments, so is Satan. A man can be the instrument of good or of evil, of God or of the devil. The Zoroastrians see this whole universe as the battle ground between the god of the light and the god of the dark, and in that battle a man must choose his side. We, too, know that a man can be the servant of the light or of the dark.(ii) But it remains true that Satan could not have entered into Judas unless Judas had opened the door. There is no handle on the outside of the door of the human heart. It must be opened from within. It is our own decision whether we will choose to be the instrument of Satan or a weapon in the hand of God. We can enlist in either service. God help us choose aright! (Luke 22 Commentary)

To every man there openeth
A high way and a low;
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go.

As an aside, one might think that since Judas was "demon possessed," he was not responsible for his actions. On the contrary, while Satan surely "guided" Judas, it does not diminish Judas' personal responsibility, because none of his evil deeds were done against his will. Judas willingly opened the door of his mind/heart for Satan to gain entrance. Jesus clearly held Judas fully responsible declaring "The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." (Mt 26:24)

Earlier Jesus alluded to Judas when He declared "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”(John 6:70) While Judas was chosen to be one of the 12 apostles, clearly he was not one of the elect chosen for salvation. This is a mystery that we cannot fully comprehend now. Perhaps God will explain this fully in heaven. Jesus says he is a diabolos, one who falsely accuses and divides people without a reason. Louw-Nida adds Judas was "a wicked person who has a number of characteristics typical of the Devil." Judas is the only man ever called a devil! Jesus knew that Judas yield to the devil’s enticements and betray him (cf Jn 6:64). 

Still as of old
Men by themselves are priced—
For thirty pieces Judas sold
Himself, not Christ

Stein - Although Satan/devil has been mentioned in Luke 8:12; 10:18; 11:18; 13:16, he has been comparatively inactive since 4:13. In fact he has been on the defensive and under attack, but now is his hour (cf. 22:53), and his frontal attack on Jesus begins again via Judas. For Satan “entering” or “departing,” cf. Lk 8:30–32; Acts 5:3. Compare John 13:2 and especially 13:27....Later Satan entered into another “disciple,” Ananias, because of money (Acts 5:3), and this also resulted in sin and tragedy. (New American Commentary: Luke)

It is frightening and somewhat disheartening to come to the realization that people can profess Jesus and yet be a "Judas" in their heart. If you have been in ministry long enough, you have undoubtedly experienced the deep disappointment of betrayal by someone from within the ranks of those with whom you minister. Jesus, having experienced the greatest example of personal betrayal, understands as the writer of Hebrews explains

"For since He Himself was tempted (tested) in that which He has suffered, He is (continually) able (See God is Able) to come to the aid (boetheo = come running upon hearing one's cry) of those who are (present tense - continually being) tempted (tested)." (Heb 2:18+). 

Satan clearly played a major role in the events of Passion Week with multiple mentions (or allusions) in Luke and John...

  • Luke 22:3-4
  • John 13:2
  • Luke 22:31-32
  • John 16:11 "the ruler of this world has been judged"
  • Luke 22:47-48 Judas was indwelt by Satan
  • Luke 22:52-53 "power of darkness"

Satan (4567)(satanas transliterated from Hebrew Satan - see 07854 and Aramaic sātānâ) literally means Adversary, the evil antagonist who offers opposition, hostility, resentment, etc. An enemy who that contends with, opposes, resists. An adversary is one who hates or opposes another person and tries to harm them or stop them from doing something because of hatred and malice. Satan is the inveterateimplacable, relentless, ruthless, remorseless, merciless, heartless, pitiless, cruel, hard, harsh, hardened, incorrigible, dedicated enemy of God and man. 

Satan is not a myth or a fable, but a created, fallen angel who is a real, supernatural evil being (Mt 16.23; 1 Th 2.18+). Satan is not divine but is subject to the divine Creator Jesus (John 1:3, Col 1:16+). He was the tempter of Jesus and sifter of men like Peter  (Mt 4.1, Lk 4:2+, Mk 1:13+, Lk 22:31+). 

In Mt 16:23 and Mk 8:33 Jesus gives a stinging rebuke to Peter (who had just rebuked Him!) declaring "Get behind Me, Satan" not because Peter was possessed by Satan, but because he was in essence serving as the "mouthpiece" for Satan, thus doing the work of Satan by attempting to dissuade Jesus from going to the Cross! So while Peter was not possessed by Satan, he undoubtedly was influenced by Satan's fiery missile that had lodged in his mind! (cf Eph 6:16+). Note the dramatic contrast with what Peter had just confessed (Mt 16:16)! This ought to be a lesson for ALL of Jesus' disciples that we need to continually be on guard against Satan's fiery missiles! Are you taking up the shield of faith, diligently guarding your heart (Pr 4:23+)? Remember that Satan's primary modus operandi is the same as it was with Eve and that is to deceive (2 Cor 11:3, Rev 12:9+). 

Believers have been rescued from Satan's "domain (right and the might) of darkness, and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Col 1:13+), The Gospel supernaturally enables men "to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in" Christ (Acts 26:18+) There are ONLY TWO spiritual kingdoms on earth, the kingdom of darkness headed by Satan and the kingdom of God headed by Jesus Christ. All unregenerate people belong the Satan's kingdom (cf Jn 8:44) and all believers are blessed to belong to Christ's kingdom. John speaking for believers says "We know that we are of God, and that the whole (unregenerate) world (from politics to entertainment to religion, etc) lies in the power of the evil one" (1 Jn 5:19+) who is "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph 2:2+), "the ruler of this world" (Jn 14:30). Because this passing world (1 Jn 2:17+) is completely under Satan's influence, believers must avoid being contaminated by the influences of the world, "for whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4+,) John commands believers "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 2:15-17+;) James tells us that "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27+). 

Other names for Satan include the accuser (ho katégoros in Rev 12:10), Apollyon the destroyer (ho Apollúōn in Rev. 9:11), the adversary (antídikos in 1 Pet. 5:8); the adversary (ho antikeímenos from antíkeimai = to be contrary in 1 Ti 5:14ESV); the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2+); Belíal meaning worthlessness (2 Cor 6:15).

Dunnett -  The Greek term satanas (Mark 1:13). In the famous "Beelzebub controversy" Jesus made clear his intention to drive Satan out of people's lives and to destroy his sovereignty (Mt 12:26 ;Mark 3:23,26 ; Luke 11:18). He liberated a woman "whom Satan (had) kept bound for eighteen long years" (Luke 13:16). Paul spoke of his being sent to turn people "from the power of Satan to God" (Acts 26:18 ), and that the works of the "lawless one (were) in accordance with the work of Satan, " in doing sham miracles, signs, and wonders (2 Th 2:9). Christ will come, he wrote, to overthrow that agent of Satan. While the activity of Satan is carried out in "the world" (i.e., among those who do not acknowledge Christ as Lord), he also works against the followers of Christ. He influenced Peter's thinking about Jesus to the extent that Jesus said to his disciple, "Get behind me, Satan!" (Mt 16:23). He asked for all the disciples in order to severely test them (Luke 22:31). He "entered" Judas Iscariot (Lk 22:3 ), and "filled the heart" of Ananias (Acts 5:3). Believers can be tempted by Satan due to a lack of self-control in sexual matters (1 Cor 7:5), and he can even masquerade as "an angle of light" to accomplish his purposes (2 Cor 11:14). He tormented Paul by means of "a thorn in (his) flesh" (2 Cor 12:7). Some people even turn away from their faith to follow Satan (1 Ti 5:15). Satan opposes the proclamation of the gospel, snatching away the seed (the word ) that was sown in people's hearts (Mk 4:15 ; Lk 8:12). He also "stopped" Paul from traveling to Thessalonica (1 Th 2:18). Satan is regarded in the New Testament as "master of death and destruction, " who carries out God's wrath against sinners. Twice we read of persons "handed over to Satan" for spiritual discipline by the church (1 Cor 5:1-5; 1 Ti 1:19-20). This appears to mean that excommunication puts people out into Satan's realm, a sovereignty from which believers have been rescued (Col 1:13; cf. Heb 2:14-15). In other cases, Satan attacked the disciples of Jesus by "sifting" them (Lk 22:31 ), a figure that is enigmatic. It may have meant to test their faith (with the intent of destroying it), or, it may have meant "to separate off the rubbish" (I. H. Marshall). In any case, Satan was up to no good. He was able to "enter" Judas Iscariot (Lk 22:3; cf. Jn 13:27), resulting in that disciple becoming a betrayer of his Master. Peter's sifting may have brought about his threefold denial of Jesus. The nascent church in Jerusalem felt the brunt of Satan's attacks. He "filled" Ananias' heart and he lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3 ), resulting in his sudden demise. The believers in Smyrna felt the sting of persecution (Rev 2:9-10). The nations of earth in John's vision were deceived by him (Rev 20:7-8).Jesus spoke of seeing Satan "fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18), a fall not identified but spoken of within the context of demons being cast out—a sign of Satan's loss of authority. In Revelation, amid a war in heaven, Satan was "hurled to the earth" along with his angels/demons (Rev 12:9). He, the Accuser, was overcome by One stronger than he. Finally, he is bound, imprisoned in the abyss for one thousand years, then ultimately banished in the fiery lake to suffer eternal torment (Rev 20:1-3,10; cf. Mt 25:41). (BED)

Satan is also known as "the evil [one]" (ho poneros - "one" is added by most translations) or the malevolent one (Eph 6:16+, 1 Jn 2:13-14+, 1 Jn 3:12+, 1 Jn 5:19+). In the Revelation we see 3 synonyms for Satan in two passages...

Revelation 12:9+  And the great dragon (probably means "the sharp-seeing one") was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Garland comments - Satan's first target of deception was Eve (Ge 3:4-5+; 2 Cor. 11:3; 2Ti. 2:14), but he has been at work deceiving nations all through history. He is the father of lies, there is no truth in him (John 8:44). Those through whom he deceives are most effective because they themselves are deceived (2 Ti. 3:13).

Revelation 20:2+ And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old (cf Ge 3:1+), who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

Usually in Greek with the definite article (lacking article only in Mk 3:23, Lk 22:3, 2 Cor 12:7) and in personal address. (Mt 4:10; Mk 1:13; 3:26; Lk 11:18; 22:31). 

Gilbrant - In the Old Testament the Hebrew word sāṯān is widely used in its common sense of “adversary” and only in four books to refer to the prince of evil. In the general sense, the Angel of Jehovah is described as the sāṯān of Balaam when the latter went with the princes of Moab defying the will of God: “The angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him” (Numbers 22:22; cf. also verse 32 where the verb form is translated “withstand”). David referred to Abishai as his adversary (2 Samuel 19:22), as well as anyone who rendered evil for good (Psalm 38:20). Likewise, the political opponents of Solomon were his adversaries (1 Kings 11:14,23,25). Of the 31 uses of the noun and verb forms of the Hebrew word, 17 are references to the devil. These are found in Job (12 times in chapters 1 and 2), Zechariah (3 references, 3:1,2), Psalm 109:6, and 1 Chronicles 21:1 which J. Barton Payne cites as “perhaps the only use of the proper noun in the Old Testament” (“sāṯān,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 2:875). In these references the Septuagint uniformly translated the Hebrew sāṯān with the Greek word diabolos, the root of our English word devil. Thus the interchangeableness of the two terms Satan and devil find their origin in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Related Resources:

Satanas - 36x in 33v - Satan(35), Satan's(1). No uses in the Septuagint. Mt. 4:10; Mt. 12:26; Mt. 16:23; Mk. 1:13; Mk. 3:23; Mk. 3:26; Mk. 4:15; Mk. 8:33; Lk. 10:18; Lk. 11:18; Lk. 13:16; Lk. 22:3; Lk. 22:31; Jn. 13:27; Acts 5:3; Acts 26:18; Ro 16:20; 1 Co. 5:5; 1 Co. 7:5; 2 Co. 2:11; 2 Co. 11:14; 2 Co. 12:7; 1 Th 2:18; 2 Th 2:9; 1 Ti 1:20; 1 Ti 5:15; Rev. 2:9; Rev. 2:13; Rev. 2:24; Rev. 3:9; Rev. 12:9; Rev. 20:2; Rev. 20:7

David Guzik - One may also think about Satan’s motive. The death of Jesus on the cross was the great defeat of Satan; why did the devil steer things towards that course? Yet, Satan is not all-knowing; perhaps he did not know how these events would turn against him. Nevertheless, Satan knows the Bible, so he should have known.. A better explanation is the fact that Satan is not all-wise; even if he did know that the death of Jesus would crush his head, his hatred got the best of him. Since Satan is the great deceiver, he has no doubt deceived himself – and may actually believe that he could or can win over Jesus.

Calvin remarks 'Though Satan drives us every day to crime, and reigns in us when he hurries us into a course of extraordinary wickedness, yet he is said to enter into the reprobate when he takes possession of all their senses, overthrows the fear of God, extinguishes the light of reason, and destroys every feeling of shame.'

Albert Barnes has an interesting note on Satan and Judas (and us) - The particular passion of which Satan made use was avarice-probably the besetting sin of Judas....We may learn, also, that when Satan tempts men, he commonly does it by exciting and raising to the highest pitch their native passions. He does not make them act contrary to their nature, but leads them on to act out their proper disposition. (Barnes' Notes on the New Testament)

Judas (2455)(Ioudas) is translated as the tribe Judah (11), the betrayer Judas and other men with this name (32), and the half brother of Jesus, Jude(1). Here is a breakout of 

  1. Judah, son of Jacob, and the tribe named for him (Mt 1:2f; 2:6; Lk 1:39; Heb 7:14; Rev 5:5)
  2. Judas in the genealogy of Jesus Lk 3:30 Judas of Galilee, a revolutionary Act 5:37.
  3. Judas of Damascus, Paul's host Ac 9:11.
  4. Judas, an apostle, son (or brother) of James Lk 6:16; J 14:22; Ac 1:13.
  5. Judas Iscariot, betrayer of Jesus Mt 10:4; 26:14, 25, 47; 27:3; Mk 3:19; 14:10, 43; Lk 6:16; 22:3, 47f; J 6:71; 12:4; 13:2, 29; 18:2f, 5; Ac 1:16, 25.
  6. Judas called Barsabbas, a Christian prophet Ac 15:22, 27, 32 (34).
  7. Judas, the brother of Jesus Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3. Probably the same man is meant by the Jude in Jude 1.

Judas - 42v Matt. 1:2; Matt. 1:3; Matt. 2:6; Matt. 10:4; Matt. 13:55; Matt. 26:14; Matt. 26:25; Matt. 26:47; Matt. 27:3; Mk. 3:19; Mk. 6:3; Mk. 14:10; Mk. 14:43; Lk. 1:39; Lk. 3:30; Lk. 3:33; Lk. 6:16; Lk. 22:3; Lk. 22:47; Lk. 22:48; Jn. 6:71; Jn. 12:4; Jn. 13:2; Jn. 13:26; Jn. 13:29; Jn. 14:22; Jn. 18:2; Jn. 18:3; Jn. 18:5; Acts 1:13; Acts 1:16; Acts 1:25; Acts 5:37; Acts 9:11; Acts 15:22; Acts 15:27; Acts 15:32; Heb. 7:14; Heb. 8:8; Jude 1:1; Rev. 5:5; Rev. 7:5

Iscariot (2469)(iskariotes)   The meaning of this word is uncertain but usually taken to refer to a place, the village of Kerioth (Josh 15:25) in southern Judea. There are 11 uses of Iscariot in the NT and most uses are associated with a description of the fact that he was a betrayer of Jesus. Even in this verse, Satan entering him indicates he will soon carry out his devilish deed. 

Iscariot - 11x in 11v -  Matt. 10:4; Matt. 26:14; Mk. 3:19; Mk. 14:10; Lk. 6:16; Lk. 22:3; Jn. 6:71; Jn. 12:4; Jn. 13:2; Jn. 13:26; Jn. 14:22

Stein on Iscariot - The latter designation probably means man (Is[h]) from [the town of] Karioth (cariot). This would make Judas a Judean and the only non-Galilean of the group.(NAC)

David Guzik writes "Others think the name Iscariot is linked to the word sicarius, meaning “assassin” – a connection to the Jewish zealots who carried out underground warfare against the Roman occupiers." (I think this supposition while intriguing is unlikely).

Belonging to the number of the twelve ("one of the twelve" mentioned in all 4 Gospels = Lk 22:47, Mt 26:14, 47, Mk 14:10, 43, Jn 6:71) - The related phrase ("one of the twelve") is used of only one other disciple, Thomas, called Didymus (Jn 20:24). There were apparently more disciples of Jesus than the inner circle of 12 (cf "seventy other" in Lk 10:1+), so the fact that Judas was in this inner circle giving him close continual contact with Christ makes his treacherous betrayal all the more despicable, unimaginable and inconceivable

Since Judas was one "of the twelve," he clearly had exposure to light that only a few humans have had (really just the other 11 disciples). To sin against such light is all the more heinous. But even worse is that sin against such light results in a far greater degree of eternal punishment for Judas! (cf Chorazin, et al Lk 10:13-15-note, Mt 11:21-24). Indeed, Jesus declared "The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." (Mt 26:24) Double woe! 

Spurgeon - Was it not a sad thing that the betrayer of Christ should be one of the twelve? Yet deeply trying as it must have been to the heart of Christ, there is something useful about even that horrible transaction. It says to all the professing Church of Christ, and it says to us who claim to be Christ’s followers, “Do not think yourselves safe because you are in the visible church; do not imagine that even holding the highest office in the church can prevent you from committing the basest crime. Nay, for here is one of the twelve apostles, yet he betrays his Master. Sometimes, we have found this betrayal to be a source of comfort. I have myself desired, in receiving members into the church, to be very careful if possible only to receive good men and true; yet, though pastors and elders of the church may exercise the strictest watch, some of the worst of men will manage to get in. When that is the case, we say to ourselves, “No new thing has happened to us, for such a sinner as this marred the Church from the very beginning.” Here is Judas, when Christ himself is the Pastor, when the twelve apostles make up the main body of the Church, here is Judas, one of the twelve, ready to betray his Master for the paltry bribe of thirty pieces of silver, just the price of a slave. Yes, we might have been put out of heart in building up the Church of God if it had not been for this sad but truthful narrative concerning Judas and his betrayal of our Lord. (Luke 22 Exposition)

John gives us detail on Satan's second entrance into Judas, the first being prior to the Passover Meal in Lk 22:3...

During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him...27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” (Jn 13:2,27)

Comment: The context between the love of Jesus and hatred of Judas is striking - Jesus is about to wash the disciple's feet, while Judas is about to betray Jesus. And don't miss the humble, loving action of Jesus, the Creator of the universe, stooping low to wash the feet of the very man He knew would soon betray Him! What kind of love is this! Jesus did not just teach verbally to "love your enemies" (Mt 5:44). He demonstrated that true love is unconditional and is manifest by one's actions which authenticate one's words. Do I say I love the brethren, but shy away from "washing their feet" (however that might be manifest)? Am I willing to follow the Master's example Who instructed the first disciples "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them" (John 13:14-17)? And just as amazing is the fact that Judas looked down as Jesus washed his feet (one pictures Jesus' eyes looking up, meeting Judas' eyes) and yet Judas' heart remained unmoved by so great an act of love. 

Steven Cole - The spiritual lesson for us from these verses is: Since it is possible to be religious and yet to be in league with Satan, we must guard against evil religion.

Satan uses religion more than any other tool to keep men in his domain of darkness.

“Satan entered into Judas” (Lu 22:3). Behind the scenes of world and personal events lurks an evil spirit, the devil, who is working for his own ends in opposition to God. If he can pawn off counterfeit religions that keep people from knowing the true God, he can hold them in spiritual darkness. They think that they are right with God, but in reality, they are not.

All of the world’s major religions (except biblical Christianity) invariably promote the idea that man can save himself through some form of good works or human effort. Inherent in such an approach to salvation are several fatally flawed notions. God’s absolute holiness must be pulled down to a level where we can approach Him by our own good deeds. Thus the character of God is blasphemed. Man’s sinfulness must be played down and his goodness built up to the point that we can do something to save ourselves. If we aren’t dead in our sins, alienated from God to the degree that we can do nothing to remedy the situation, then we don’t need a perfect substitute to atone for our sins. We don’t need Christ to save us; we just need to try the best we can. So you can see why Satan loves religion. It makes the cross unnecessary and it feeds the pride of sinful man. But we must go a step further:

2. People can even profess and belong to true religion and yet be in league with Satan.

The chief priests and scribes believed in the true God of the Bible, who revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Judas was not just a follower of Jesus, but also one of the twelve. And yet they all were in league with Satan in plotting for Jesus’ death. Even so, there are many who profess to be Christians, but they are in harmony with Satan, not with Jesus Christ. The Crusades were ostensibly under the banner of Christianity, but there was nothing Christian about them. Satan still uses them to malign true Christianity. The Inquisition and the persecution carried on under the reign of Bloody Mary in England were done in the name of Christ, and yet these events and the people responsible for them were hideously evil. The Protestant-Catholic terrorism in Northern Ireland is not Christian in any sense of the word, and yet the world perceives of it as Christian versus Christian.

Looking at the Jewish religious leaders and Judas, we can see a number of dangers for all who hold to belief in the one true God:

Religious profession is not enough. - The chief priests and scribes professed to know and fear the one true God. They professed to believe in the Scriptures. Judas professed to be a follower of Christ. And yet they killed the sinless Savior. Anyone can make a profession of faith, but in and of itself, such a profession is not enough to guard us from evil religion.

Religious knowledge is not enough. - The chief priests and scribes knew the Hebrew Bible better than any of us do. They studied it for years in the original language. They could cite lengthy passages by memory. But in spite of their impressive learning, they missed Christ. Their knowledge filled them with pride, when it should have humbled them before God. Spiritual knowledge is good if it brings us to the true knowledge of God and of ourselves, which always results in humility. But if it puffs us up with all that we know, it will bring us to ruin.

Religious position is not enough. - These men were the religious leaders of the nation. They had spiritual oversight of more than a million Jews. But they crucified the Savior. Judas was one of the twelve apostles, hand-picked by Jesus Christ. Yet he betrayed the Savior of the world for a small bag of silver. You can be the pastor of a large church or the head of a large denomination and yet be in league with Satan.

Religious ritual is not enough. - These men were about to celebrate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. But at the same time, they were going to murder an innocent man, their Messiah, no less! The Passover pictured God’s salvation as seen in the Exodus. The Feast of Unleavened Bread that immediately followed pictured removing sin from our lives. If they had taken to heart the message of Passover, how could they have been plotting murder at the same time? It is easy to go through religious rituals and miss the message behind the ritual. Mafia members can go to the Mass and go home and arrange the murder of a rival. Church members can partake of communion and go home and verbally abuse their mates or children. Ritual is not enough.

Religious service is not enough. - The chief priests and scribes had devoted their lives to religious duties. Judas had served Christ for three years in as close a capacity as possible. He had gone out with the other disciples, preaching and healing the sick in Jesus’ name. But all the religious service in the world is worthless if we betray Jesus. (ED: Or on a practical level, if we do works and fail to abide in the Vine - John 15:5).

Religious affiliation is not enough. - The chief priests and scribes were affiliated with the cream of religious leaders in Judaism. Judas was a member of the twelve. He was personally acquainted with Peter, James, and John, not to mention, Jesus. He could tell you inside stories about these great men. You would think that some of it would have rubbed off on him. But you can know godly men and run in godly circles and yet not be godly yourself.

Religious experience is not enough. - Judas witnessed the many miracles Christ performed. He had seen Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead. He had watched Jesus feed the 5,000 and walk on the water. He had seen Jesus hold large crowds spellbound with His teaching. But all of his spiritual experiences did not keep Judas from betraying Jesus. Even so, people today report all sorts of interesting and amazing spiritual experiences. They speak in tongues, laugh uncontrollably, bark like dogs, roar like lions, get slain in the Spirit, and lay prostrate on the floor. They go forward at evangelistic crusades and feel a warm glow come over them. But ask Judas. He will tell you that you can have amazing religious experiences and still betray the Savior. Religious experience is inadequate by itself.

If it is possible to profess to be a Christian and to do all of these other things, and yet to be in league with Satan, how can we guard against such evil religion in ourselves?

3. At the core of evil religion are the lack of genuine conversion, the rejection of Jesus as Lord, and the promotion of selfish desires under the guise of religious commitment.

A. Evil religion lacks genuine conversion.

Many different theories have been suggested as to why Judas would do such a thing as betray Jesus. But at the root of whatever motivated Judas was this key factor: He was not a converted man. This is the key difference between Judas and Peter. Peter failed miserably, denying Jesus at His moment of greatest need, humanly speaking. Both men felt badly after their failures. But the difference was, Peter was truly converted; Judas was not.

We need to understand that true conversion is not a matter of making a decision to follow Christ. A decision cannot save anyone. True conversion has nothing to do with anything that we can do. Rather, conversion is a matter of God imparting spiritual life to a person who is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1-5+; Jn 1:12-13+). Without God imparting life to our dead hearts, we cannot and will not believe in Christ or make a commitment to follow Him (Jn 6:44, Jn 6:65; Lu 10:22+; Ro 8:7-8+). As James 1:18+ puts it, “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.” True conversion, then, is not something that people can will or believe into existence. True conversion is the mighty power of God through the Gospel and it necessarily changes our hearts (cf Ezek 36:26-27+). Whereas before we were self-willed, now we submit to God. Before we were proud of our goodness; now we are humbled by our sin. Before we shrugged off or justified our sin; now we confess and mourn over our sin. Before we didn’t really care about knowing God; now it is our one desire and quest. When God saves you, He changes your heart. False religion lacks true conversion.

B. Evil religion rejects Jesus Christ as Lord.

By distinguishing this point from the previous one, I am not suggesting that we first get saved and then add lordship sometime later, as a second step. A truly converted person bows before the lordship of Jesus Christ and seeks to bring every aspect of his life under Christ’s lordship. But I separate this point to emphasize something that many who profess Christ as Savior do not realize, namely, that they have never dethroned self and enthroned Christ as Lord. They came to Christ in hopes that He could do something for them. Maybe they hoped He would fix their marriage or straighten out a rebellious child. Perhaps they hoped that He would make them happy. But their problems have only grown worse. They are disappointed with Christ. He hasn’t given them what they had hoped for. They are in danger of turning to false gods for help.

Such people may not be converted at all, because they are only using Christ to fulfill self, not denying self to follow Christ (Lu 9:23+). Self is still in control. If Jesus will cooperate and give what self wants, they will follow Jesus. If not, they will turn to whatever makes self happy. This is merely evil religion, using religion to get what you want out of life. I am speculating a bit, but I think I’m not far off the mark in suggesting that Judas was following Jesus for what he thought Jesus could provide for him, but he had not submitted to Christ as Lord. If Jesus is the Messiah and can set up His kingdom and get rid of Rome, Judas was on board. Besides, as one of the twelve, he should get a top assignment in the new kingdom. But when Judas saw Jesus heading toward the cross, he was horrified. This wasn’t the kind of Messiah he had envisioned. He hadn’t signed on to face persecution and perhaps martyrdom. He wanted prestige, power, and material comfort. He was using Jesus for his own ends. When Jesus didn’t “work,” he was willing to betray Him for 30 pieces of silver. Each of us needs to ask ourselves, “Am I following Christ for what I can get out of Him?” That’s the religion of Judas. Or, have I submitted to Jesus as Lord, no matter what the cost? That is true Christianity.

C. Evil religion promotes selfish desires under the guise of religious commitment.

The Jewish leaders and Judas were religious men, but their religion was a thin veneer over selfish desires and a means to fulfilling those desires. There were three areas of selfish desires these men shared in common:

The desire for money and material things. - We have already seen that the Pharisees were lovers of money (Lu 16:14). The fact that Judas received money for betraying Jesus confirms what Jn 12:6 states, that Judas was a thief who pilfered out of the disciples’ money box. Evil religion does not kill greed. But God always confronts our greed. Covetousness is one of the Ten Commandments. Greed is often linked with idolatry and sexual immorality (Eph 5:3, Eph 5:5; Col 3:5). If you are not consistently confronting your greed, you need to re-examine your faith. To betray the Son of God for money seems despicable beyond imagination. And yet, isn’t that what millions do? They profess to be Christians, but their lives are consumed with the pursuit of material things. They cling to their things and are deeply offended if anyone suggests that they give away their things for the cause of Christ. They will even cheat or lie or compromise their morals and their testimony so that they can get ahead. They are betraying Jesus for money, just as Judas did.

The desire for prestige and recognition. - The Jewish leaders wanted the prestige that came from being a religious leader in Israel. They loved the respectful greetings and the chief seats in the synagogue (Lu 20:46). They were overly concerned about what people thought of them (Lu 22:2, Lu 22:6). They feared the multitude, but they did not fear God. I am inferring this, since Scripture does not directly say, but I think that Judas also may have liked the prestige that came from being in the inner circle with Jesus during the time of His popularity. Many in the crowd would whisper, “He’s one of the twelve.” It made Judas feel good to be so important. But now that Jesus’ popularity was in question, Judas wanted to get on the good side of the religious leaders. By leading them to Jesus, he could assure himself of recognition with the rulers after Jesus was out of the way. We all need to judge our own hearts. We can serve in the church for the recognition and prestige that it brings, rather than out of love for Jesus Christ.

The desire for power and influence. - Evil religion involves men a contest for power. If you can work your way to the top, you’ll gain power and influence. So you play religious politics. You network with those who have influence. You cater to the rich and famous. You use guile and manipulation to get ahead in the religious world. The Jewish religious leaders played such political games. Jesus threatened their power base. He challenged their greed and corruption. He exposed their selfish motives. But rather than yielding to Him, they decided to get rid of Him. And, Judas was using his inside information for his own ends. He should have judged his evil desire for power and influence.  When I first came to this church, I went out to lunch with the man who was then the regional director for the Southwest Conservative Baptist Association. During our conversation, he said, “You’ve got to build your power base in the church.” I didn’t reply, but I thought, “I’m sorry, but I’m not into building power bases or playing church politics.” We should walk in integrity before God and not be using people to build our power base. We’ve seen that Satan uses evil religion to keep people in his domain of darkness. They can even profess true religion, yet be in league with Satan. At the core of evil religion are a lack of genuine conversion, the rejection of Christ as Lord, and the promotion of selfish desires under the guise of religious commitment.

4. Evil religion brings initial happiness and gain, but final ruin.

Lu 22:5 sends a chill down my spine: “And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.” How can anyone be glad about the prospect of killing the Son of God? How could Judas be glad about striking such a deal? I can see the chief priest going home that night, and his wife said, “You seem unusually happy. What’s going on?” And he said, “It looks like we’re finally going to get rid of that troublemaker, Jesus! What a relief!” And Judas walked away with that bag of silver under his coat, smiling as he thought of the things he could buy. But their happiness was short-lived. Their doom is eternal! The things that make you glad reveal your heart. If hearing that you just won the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes makes you leap for joy, but hearing that the Gospel has just penetrated a previously unreached people group makes you say, “Ho hum,” your heart is not right before God. The things that make God rejoice should make us rejoice. The things that make God grieve, namely sin, should make us grieve (cf Lk 19:41+, Ezek 6:9+, Ge 39:10).

Conclusion - In light of how Satan uses religion for his evil purposes, it is shocking when evangelical Christian leaders, such as Billy Graham, endorse religious men who clearly deny the Gospel. For example, Graham spoke well of the late Norman Vincent Peale, who said on a 1984 Phil Donahue show, “It’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine… I’ve been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.” Even Donahue was shocked. He responded, “But you’re a Christian minister; you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren’t you?” Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere” (“The Berean Call,” 10/97, citing The Christian News, 5/12/97, p. 11). Graham has also endorsed Robert Schuller who denies the Gospel. He endorses Pope John Paul II as “the greatest religious leader of the modern world, and one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century” (on David Frost, 5/30/97). He even said, “I think Islam is misunderstood, too, because Mohammed has a great respect for Jesus, and he called Jesus the greatest of the prophets except himself. And I think that we’re closer to Islam than we really think we are” (ibid.).  My purpose is not to slam Billy Graham, although he needs someone to confront him. My purpose is to illustrate my main point, that since it is possible to be religious and yet be in league with Satan, we must guard ourselves against evil religion. At best Graham is extremely undiscerning. At worst, people who hear him say things like that will be kept from true salvation. I hope that none of you are deceived. Avoid evil religion. Do not endorse it. Do not join with it. Make sure that your heart is right before God. Are you trusting in Christ alone for salvation? Are you judging your sin on the heart level? Are you seeking to please God and walk before Him? If you are, you will avoid the danger of betraying the Son of God for a bag of silver. (Luke 22:1-6 Evil Religion)

Luke 22:4  And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them.

KJV Luke 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

  • he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers Mt 26:14; Mark 14:10,11
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


The parallel passages...

Matthew 26:14-16  Then (AFTER WITNESSING MARY'S COSTLY ACT OF LOVE TOWARD JESUS) one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. 16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus. 

Robertson on Matthew's 30 pieces - Matthew refers to Zechariah 11:12. These pieces were shekels of the sanctuary, of standard weight, and therefore heavier than the ordinary shekel. See on Matthew 17:24. Reckoning the Jerusalem shekel at seventy-two cents, the sum would be twenty-one dollars and sixty cents. This was the price which, by the Mosaic law, a man was condemned to pay if his ox should gore a servant (Exodus 21:32). Our Lord, the sacrifice for men, was paid for out of the temple-money, destined for the purchase of sacrifices. He who "took on him the form of a servant" was sold at the legal price of a slave.

Mark 14:10-11+  Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.

And he went away - He went away being led by the unholy influence of the evil spirit Satan who had entered him enticing him to commit the greatest act of treachery in human history! There is a dramatic difference in the way Jesus and Judas responded to their personal encounters with the devil. Jesus under the empowering influence of the Holy Spirit (cf Lk 4:14+) was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and unlike Judas our Lord successfully resisted repeated temptations to sin against God (Lk 4:1-2+, Lk 4:3-13+)!  O, how great is every believer's need to be continually filled with the Spirit of Jesus (Eph 5:18+) so that we might be energized and enabled to resist (cf James 4:5-10+) the continual temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil! Fill us Father so that we might resist the siren (in Greek mythology, a creature half bird and half woman who lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of her song) call of sin and instead continually walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel for the glory of the Lamb. Amen.

It is notable that the verb he went away (apelthon) is in the active voice which signifies that Judas made a volitional choice and it was he who chose to approach the Jewish leaders, not the converse for they would not have been aware of Satan's possession. So on one hand Satan surely shot fiery missiles into the mind of Judas (cf Eph 6:16+), but ultimately Judas made the final, fatal choice! 

Lane - Judas seems to have responded to an official notice that circulated in Jerusalem: “Now the chief priests had given orders that if anyone knew where he [i.e. Jesus] was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him” (John 11:57). (NICNT-Mark)

Fruchtenbaum -   In Luke 22:3 we see that Satan himself has entered Judas. He is not merely demon possessed but Satan possessed. Judas’ god has been money all along, and now he goes to betray Jesus for money to the chief priests and captains. Judas is “hired” for three things: (1) He is to show where Jesus may be arrested away from the multitude. He succeeds at that. (2). Under Roman law, a Roman cohort could not be released to make an arrest unless someone first appears before the Roman governor with an accusation of a crime punishable under Roman law. Judas was the witness to appear before Pontius Pilate in order to release the cohort. (3). Also under Roman law Judas would have served as a prosecuting witness at the Roman trial, a role he failed to accomplish. He would not be needed for a Jewish trial.
  • The negotiation results in the payment of 30 pieces of silver, a fulfillment of prophecy. (Life of Messiah)

And discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them - An evil man controlled by Satan colludes with evil men who are likewise controlled by Satan to determine the "how" of Jesus' death. Mt 26:15 records Judas question "What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?”

As noted elsewhere, the Jewish leaders had planned to wait until after the Passover to seize and kill Jesus, but with Judas' offer they accelerated their plans. Here we see the sovereign will of the Lord God's "predetermined plan" (Acts 2:23+) that was in place from the foundation of the world. The Lamb of God must die on the Passover to fulfill the Old Testament feast which pointed to the Lamb of God. So in this sense, Satan, Judas and the evil leaders "played into" God's "predetermined plan." Beloved, if our Father is in control of every detail leading to the death of His only Son, His beloved Son, you can rest assured that He is in full control of the manifold, variegated events and circumstances in the lives of His children (cf 1 Jn 3:1+), even when things seem out of control! God grant us grace to rest in this truth in Christ. Amen

Officers (4755)(strategos from stratós = an army + ágō = to lead) literally referred to the leader of an army the chief legal official of a city. A T Robertson says the strategos were "Leaders of the temple guards (Acts 4:1), the full title, "captains of the temple," occurs in Luke 22:52." Only Luke tells us that the officers were involved. These were not military guards, but the Levitical officers who had charge of the Temple watch. 

Vine says strategos "came to denote a civil commander, a governor (Latin, duumvir), the highest magistrate, or any civil officer in chief command,  Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38; also the chief captain of the Temple, himself a Levite, having command of the Levites who kept guard in and around the Temple, Luke 22:4, 52; Acts 4:1; 5:24, 26. Cp. Jer. 20:1.

BDAG 1. the highest official in a Gr-Rom. city, praetor, chief magistrate pl. of the highest officials of the Roman colony of Philippi. This title was not quite officially correct, since these men were properly termed ‘duoviri’, but it occurs several times in ins as a popular designation for them 2. commander responsible for the temple in Jerusalem, captain of the temple Ac 4:1; 5:24. 

Vincent on magistrates - Their usual name was duumviri, (Wikipedia = Latin = duumvir, "one of the two men"; in plural originally duoviri, "the two men") answering to the consuls of Rome; but they took pride in calling themselves strategoi or praetors, as being a more honorable title. This is the only place in the Acts where Luke applies the term to the rulers of a city.

Discussed (talked with, conferred) (4814)(sullaleo from sun/syn = with, speaks of intimacy + laleo = to talk, speak) means to talk together or with, to converse.  BDAG = " to exchange thoughts with."

Luke does not record Judas' request of the Jewish leaders which was how much to kill the King?

"What are you willing to give me to betray (paradidomi - give Him over to your power) Him to you?” (ED: THEY DON'T ANSWER WITH WORDS BUT WITH WEIGHING OUT SILVER!) And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him." (Mt 26:15). 

Solomon gives an apt description of Judas' words - "An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips (AND ULTIMATELY "ENSNARED" BY A NOOSE [LXX = pagis] AROUND HIS NECK! Mt 27:5!), But the righteous will escape from trouble. (Pr 12:13)

He might betray (3860)(paradidomi  from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) conveys the basic meaning of to give over from one's hand to someone or something, especially to give over to the power of another. In this context it means to deliver Jesus to the enemy by treachery. Luke uses paradidomi repeatedly to describe Judas' betrayal - Luke 9:44; 18:32; 21:12, 16; 22:6, 21, 22, 48. 

Mark is more explicit in stating the purpose writing "Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to (PURPOSE CLAUSE) betray Him to them." (Mk 14:10). 

Why did Judas betray Jesus?

Leon Morris -  It is not clear why Judas betrayed Jesus. One motive was disappointed avarice (Mt 26:14f., which follows directly the story of the anointing with its ‘waste’, John 12:6). Some have tried to put him in a better light by suggesting, for example, that he was trying to get Jesus into a position where he would have to exercise his power and bring in the kingdom. Setting aside the not unimportant consideration that this would align Judas with Satan in the temptation narrative, all such attempts are speculation. There is no foundation for them in the texts. (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)


While we cannot know with certainty all of the motives of Judas there is ample evidence that love of money played an important role in catalyzing his betrayal of Jesus - Ryle writes "We see, thirdly, in these verses, the enormous power of the love of money. We are told that when Judas went to the chief priests and offered to betray his Master, they “covenanted to give him money.” That little sentence reveals the secret of this wretched man’s fall. He was fond of money. He had doubtless heard our Lord’s solemn warning, “Take heed and beware of covetousness.” (Luke 12:15.) But he had either forgotten it, or given it no heed. Covetousness was the rock on which he made shipwreck. Covetousness was the ruin of his soul. We need not wonder that St. Paul called the love of money “the root of all evil.” (1 Ti 6:10.) The history of the church is full of mournful proofs, that it is one of the choicest weapons of Satan for corrupting and spoiling professors of religion. Gehazi, Ananias and Sapphira are names which naturally occur to our minds. But of all proofs, there is none so melancholy as the one before us. For money a chosen apostle sold the best and most loving of Masters! For money Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ! Let us watch and pray against the love of money. It is a subtle disease, and often far nearer to us than we suppose. A poor man is just as liable to it as a rich man. It is possible to love money without having it, and it is possible to have it without loving it. Let us be “content with such things as we have.” (Heb. 13:5) We never know what we might do if we became suddenly rich. It is a striking fact, that there is only one prayer in all the Book of Proverbs, and that one of the three petitions in that prayer, is the wise request,—“Give me neither poverty nor riches.” (Pr 30:8)

Of course we would be remiss to not give Satan his due, for his entrance into Judas undoubtedly catalyzed the evil thoughts that had already begin to sprout in Judas' mine. And of course if Judas needed a little help with deception, who better that the great Deceiver himself! Of course as is almost always the case the deceiver (Judas) becomes the one who is deceived (cf 2 Ti 3:13+). As Solomon wisely asked "Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?" (Pr 6:27) Ultimately Satan deceived Judas to the point that he committed suicide (Mt 27:5)! Dealing with the devil is dangerous! One other note is that the great Deceiver himself was also deceived, for in helping to bring about the death of the Lamb of God on the Cross, Satan guaranteed his own defeat (cf Heb 2:14-15+, et al). HALLELUJAH! (cf Rev 19:1-9+)

Dr J Ligon Duncan agrees that Judas' love of money was at play in his betrayal - if you ask yourself the question, “How could this have happened? How could one of Jesus’ own twelve disciples fallen away?” and the answer that Luke gives us is — here's how it happens: an affection, a desire, takes over your heart that you long for more, you love more, than you love God, than you love Jesus, than you love grace, than you love the Gospel. That's what happens. An affection, a desire, takes hold of your heart that is more important to you than God is. And Luke tells us what it was for Judas. What does he say? Verse 5 — “They agreed to give him money.” Luke is telling you that in Judas’ case, what got him was the love of money. There was an inordinate desire in his heart for money. Now, you say, “You’re reading a whole lot into that sentence.” If you will check the parallel passage in Mark 14:10, Mark will tell you the same thing, that Judas was given money to do this. And then if you go to Matthew 26:15, Matthew will tell you that when Judas first went to the chief priests, do you know what he asked them? “What will you give me if I do this? What will you give me for it?” And then John 12:4 will tell you something that you don't find anywhere else in the gospels. Guess what Judas had been doing. For three years, as the holder of the purse, as the treasurer of the disciples, he had been stealing. Now it's very interesting, the gospels don't go into a lot of explanation about why Judas did what he did, except to say this man's heart had been taken hold of by money. Now that ought to make us tremble. You know with men it's usually sex or money or power that gets them or some combination or all three, but it's an inordinate desire, it's an affection, it's a yearning that becomes stronger in us than our yearning for God. That's what leads to apostasy, the falling away from a profession. “A man can walk with Christ,” you say, “for all those years, and then chose money over Him?” You know, I bet you if we had had a conversation with Judas and said, “Judas, do you think you have a problem with a love of money?” I bet you he would have said, “No, are you kidding me? I am walking around with a guy who doesn't even own a house. I've spent three years wandering around with Him all over Palestine. No, I don't have an inordinate love of money.” But he did. His heart cared about money more than he loved and trusted in Jesus. No wonder Paul said that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” And you don't just have to have money to fall prey to this sin. I love what J.C. Ryle says. “It is possible to love money without having it and to have money without loving it.” And that is so true. And I've seen both kinds of people in my life. I've known people with just huge amounts of money that did not love it. They were generous, they were modest. And I've known people that didn't have any money at all and that's all they could think about. Well there's a warning here. The affection, the desire that got imbedded into Judas’ heart, was a love of money and it was the thing that led him down the road to perdition. May God make us all aware of what the affections are of this world that have gotten into our hearts that are trying to pull us away from Him. (Prepare the Passover)

Luke 22:5   They were glad and agreed to give him money.

KJV Luke 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

  • and agreed to give him money Zechariah 11:12,13; Mt 26:15-16; 27:3-5; Acts 1:18; 8:20; 1 Timothy 6:9,10; 2 Peter 2:3,15; Jude 1:11
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Parallel passage:

Mark 14:11+  They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.

They were glad (5463)(chairo) expresses the delight of the devious leaders whose dangerous dilemma was decoded by this defector! This was almost too good to believe and so they were filed with joy, as BDAG says "in a state of happiness and well-being" (O, the deceitfulness of sin to make one feel "happy" even while the noose is being placed around the neck!) Beloved, when you can find joy in your sin, your soul is very sick, especially when that sin is to kill the Son of God! 

As someone has said they were "Glad with a hellish glee!"

Jesus in a sense predicted a similar joy after His death declaring

“Truly, truly, (AMEN, AMEN = THIS IS IMPORTANT) I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice (chairo) (JUBILANT WITH UNHOLY GLEE OVER THE MURDER OF JESUS); you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy." (John 16:20)

Plummer adds that Judas' defection "simplified matters enormously." 

A T Robertson has an interesting (albeit slightly speculative) comment - No doubt the rabbis looked on the treachery of Judas as a veritable dispensation of Providence amply justifying their plots against Jesus. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Steven ColeThe things that make you glad reveal your heart. If hearing that you just won the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes makes you leap for joy, but hearing that the Gospel has just penetrated a previously unreached people group makes you say, “Ho hum,” your heart is not right before God. The things that make God rejoice should make us rejoice. The things that make God grieve, namely sin, should make us grieve.

Keep in mind that the religious leaders had determined to kill Jesus, but they had not determined to do it during Passover because of the fear of a riot. Here is where we see the mysterious working of the sovereignty of God, Who so orchestrated events that Jesus the Lamb of God would be crucified as the Passover Lamb and not at some later date. As David Guzik says "God would use the wicked works of Judas to further His eternal plan. This was the appointed time for Jesus to go to the cross, but before Judas’ treachery the religious leaders did not intend to do it at the time out of a fear of the people."

Matthew shows the idea of "blood money" was Judas' idea for he asked the leaders “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him." (Mt 26:15). 

Agreed to give him money - They gave Judas 30 pieces of silver, "Blood money" in exchange for the incalculably priceless blood of the Lamb of God, the Redeemer of the world! 

Lenski comments that "Judas would do nothing until he had the money paid down. He intended to run no risks in regard to getting his money later on. The priests were shrewd enough to bind the man by paying him at once; he might otherwise fail them. They ran no risk whatsoever, for they had the power to arrest this man at any time. Judas returned to Jesus with the blood money in his bag." (The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Agreed (KJV = "covenanted")(4934)(suntithemi from sun = together + tithemi = to place, put) means literally to put together side by side. The three uses in the NT are all in the middle voice which conveys the meaning "to agree with," to work out a joint arrangement or as the KJV renders it "to covenant with," which suggests the coming together ("side by side") of two parties to form a pact or agreement.

BDAG - to place something together with something else so as to be side by side, put/place with σκεῦος κενὸν μετὰ τῶν κενῶν συντιθέμενον pass. an empty vessel placed beside the (other) empty ones (in such a way that it knocks against them) (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature)

Gilbrant - Although suntithēmi can be used in a positive manner, its appearances in Scripture are all negative, as certain groups of people came together to scheme against those who were godly. In Luke 22:5 the chief priests and teachers of the Law came to an “agreement” to pay Judas for betraying Jesus. In John 9:22 the Jewish leaders “decided” to excommunicate anyone who believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Finally, Acts 23:20 relates the “pact” among the Jews as they plotted to kill Paul. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Suntithemi - 3x in 3v - agreed - Lk. 22:5; Jn. 9:22; Acts 23:20. Three uses in the Septuagint - 1 Sa 22:13 = "conspired against"; 1 Ki 16:28; Da 2:9 = "you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me."


This passage (and the specific amount in Mt 26:15 "they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him") is a fulfillment of Zechariah 11:12-13

I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (For fulfillment of verse 13 see Mt 27:3-10)

Fruchtenbaum - The priests took the 30 pieces of silver from the Temple treasury fund. One major purpose of the Temple treasury was to purchase sacrifices. The priests did so that day. They purchased the final sacrifice for sin when they paid for Judas to deliver Him up.

Matthew 27:3-4 gives us some follow-up details regarding this 30 pieces of silver - Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”

The amount of money the leaders gave Judas was the price of a slave in the Old Testament (and a dead one at that!)

“If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall give his or her master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.  (Ex. 21:32).

Fruchtenbaum - According to Exodus 21:32, thirty pieces of silver is the price of restitution for a dead slave. It became a symbol of contempt, and the figure 30 would be avoided much like number 13 is avoided in our country (elevators often skip the number 13).

Stein adds that "Luke may have mentioned money here to illustrate for his readers how money can destroy a person (cf. Luke 12:13–21; 16:19–31; 18:18–25)." 

Phillip Ryken - (ILLUSTRATION) That is all it was: just thirty pieces of silver. To this day, we are still shocked that Judas would perpetrate such a colossal crime for such a paltry sum. But it is often shocking what people will do for money. There is a notable example in the publication of the Gospel of Judas. The Swiss dealer who sold this false gospel to the National Geographic Society for one and a half million dollars—a woman named Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos—is a known felon who has trafficked in stolen antiquities. In order to avoid doing jail time, she betrayed one of her co-conspirators—a former director of the Getty Museum. The Los Angeles Times had this to say about the irony of her situation: “some things don’t change—except for inflation. Thirty pieces of silver then, or $1.5 million now: it’s still all about money.” Many Christians think of the love of money as one of the lesser sins, but see where it leads. When we refuse to be content with our financial situation—whether we happen to be rich or poor—we open the door to fatal temptation. Once we decide that we want something more than we already have, we start thinking about ways to get it. The more that desire grows, the more tempted we are to get what we want in ways that do not please God or depend on his providence. Are you content with what you have, or has your mind been playing around with ways to get richer? Are there any ways you are compromising your integrity for financial gain? The reason the Bible reveals that Judas had a profit motive is not to stigmatize him, but to show how ordinary his temptation was. Judas did it for the money, which is exactly the reason why a lot of people do a lot of the wrong things they do. Unfortunately, there is more than a little bit of the betrayer in all of us. Like Judas, we have had the extraordinary spiritual privilege of seeing the person and work of Jesus for ourselves. We have professed our faith in Christ and started to follow him, as Judas did. We have heard the preaching of his gospel, and we know something of his divine power. Yet even a temptation as simple as the love of money might lead us into a deep betrayal of the Lord we say that we worship. (Reformed Expository Commentary - Luke)

Rod Mattoon asks "You may ask, "Can a Christian be a pawn of Satan?" You better believe you can! He cannot possess you, but he can influence you to do his work and hurt the work of Christ. Christians gripped with greed, gossip, hate, bitterness, jealousy, carnality, apathy, or immorality can become pawns of Satan. In fact, it was Paul who warned us about letting Satan get a foothold in our lives. Ephesians 4:27—Neither give place to the devil. 2 Corinthians 2:11—Lest Satan should set an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. The phrase "get an advantage of us" is from the word pleonekteo which means "to overreach and be able to grab something, to be superior, to have more of us." Like a boy grasping for cookies in a cookie jar, Satan is grasping for control of you. When Satan gets control of us, that's when we get into trouble. (Treasures from Luke: Volume Six)

Luke 22:6   So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

KJV Luke 22:6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
in the absence of the multitude


Parallel passages:

Matthew 26:16  From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus. 

Mark 14:11+  They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.

So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them - The bargain was promptly struck. An offer from the Jewish leaders was "on the table" and greedy Judas was quick to accept it. Notice the interesting irony of seeking a GOOD opportunity for a BAD deed, indeed, the worst deed! Mark says they "promised to give him money" suggesting that the payment would be made on completion of the dirty deed. In any event, it was enough to motivate the greed of Judas to begin seeking how to betray the One Who had always been faithful to him!

Allison Trites - The conspiracy against Jesus is noted in all four Gospels, with John providing the fullest account and Luke the briefest (Lk 22:1–2; cf. John 11:45–52). John noted the insecurity of the Jewish religious leaders who conferred in the high council (or Sanhedrin) and concluded: “If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation” (John 11:48). John also mentioned the high priest’s prophecy that Jesus “would die for the entire nation” (John 11:51); John noted Jesus’ prediction of his betrayal by Judas a little later (John 13:18–30). (Cornerstone Bible Commentary)

Consented (1843)(exomologeo) means an open confession but in this context meant to consent or to fully accept the offer of the "blood money" from the Jewish leaders.

Began seeking (2212)(zeteo) making efforts to discover an opening to betray Jesus. The imperfect tense means over and over Judas was watching for a convenient time to betray Jesus. Robertson says "Judas went at his business and stuck to it." Vincent has "He kept seeking: busied himself continuously from that time." "The hunt was on." (Bock)

Good opportunity (2122)(eukairos from eu = good + kairos = season, opportune time, "window of opportunity") means a favorable opportunity or the right moment, a "good chance." It is interesting that the only other NT use of eukaios is to describe an opportunity for preaching the Word, quite a contrast with looking for an opportunity to kill the Word (Jn 1:1)!

Good opportunity in this context is one of the more striking oxymorons recorded in all of human history! A good opportunity for a bad deed! On face value, there is nothing good about Judas' treachery and betrayal of Jesus. Of course the omnipotent, sovereign God will cause it to work together for good (Ro 8:28+, Acts 2:23+), by bringing about the crucifixion of the Lamb of God in perfect fulfillment of the Feast of Passover.

Recall that in Luke 4:13+ "when the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time," so that now in Judas there was "an opportune time" for attacking Jesus, but this not not with temptation but with torture. 

Robertson - This was the whole point of the offer of Judas. He claimed that he knew enough of the habits of Jesus to enable them to catch him "in the absence of the multitude" (Luke 22:6) without waiting for the Passover to be over, when the crowds would leave. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

To betray (hand over) (3860)(paradidomi) means to give over to the power of another and is used five times in Luke 22 (Lk 22:4, 6, 21, 22, 48)!

Apart from the crowd ("in the absence of the multitude" = KJV; "when no crowd was present" = NET) - Luke had already said the leaders "were afraid of the people."  (Lk 22:2). Luke alone of the synoptic accounts adds this detail. This was crucial lest a riot break out thus was undoubtedly a stipulation of the Jewish leaders. It had to be in secret! Like so many sins, this most sinister of sins needed to take place in secret, in the dark. Woe! Are you on "high alert" dear follower of Christ when the sun goes down or when you find yourself alone with only God watching what you're watching? Woe!  

Stein comments that "Once again Luke mentioned the positive attitude of the crowd toward Jesus (cf. Lk 19:48; 20:6, 19)."

Luke 22:7   Then came the [first] day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover [lamb] had to be sacrificed.

KJV Luke 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.


Parallel Passages point out that Jesus was betrayed on the day of Passover.

Matthew 26:17-19 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread (AKA "PASSOVER") the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” (LUKE DOES NOT RECORD THEIR QUESTION) 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

A T Robertson - There is a famous controversy on the apparent disagreement between the Synoptic Gospels and the Fourth Gospel on the date of this last Passover meal. My view is that the five passages in John (Jn 13:1f., 27; Jn 18:28; 19:14, 31) rightly interpreted agree with the Synoptic Gospels (Mt. 26:17, 20 = Mk 14:12, 17 = Luke 22:7, 14) that Jesus ate the Passover meal at the regular time about 6 P.M. beginning of 15 Nisan. The Passover lamb was slain on the afternoon of 14 Nisan and the meal eaten at sunset the beginning of 15 Nisan. According to this view Jesus ate the Passover meal at the regular time and died on the cross the afternoon of 15 Nisan. (See John MacArthur's explanation below)

Mark 14:12-16+ On the first day of Unleavened Bread (AKA "PASSOVER"), when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” (LUKE DOES NOT RECORD THEIR QUESTION) 13 And He *sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15 “And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” 16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 


Darrell Bock gives an excellent summary of this next section - Luke loves meals. This is his seventh meal scene; it is also one of his most dramatic (see Luke 5:29-32; Luke 7:36-50; Luke 9:12-17; Luke 10:38-42; Luke 11:37-54; Luke 14:1-24; two more remain, Luke 24:28-32, Luke 24:36-43). At the dinner table friends can enjoy fellowship and reflect on events. Such an intimate occasion is the setting for Jesus' final words to his disciples. Added to the intimacy of the scene is its timing. A Passover meal is being celebrated (vv. Luke 22:7-9).During the celebration of God's saving of Israel, Jesus will discuss his sacrifice on behalf of his disciples. It will be a meal to remember, not only because this event forms the basis of the Lord's Supper but also because Jesus predicts a betrayal, defines true leadership, promises authority to the eleven, predicts Peter's failure and warns of coming rejection. Even as he faces death, Jesus serves by preparing others for their task. (Luke 22:1-38 Betrayal and a Farewell)

Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed - Remember that Luke has already told us that the term day of Unleavened Bread is synonymous with the Passover. So this day is the Passover, Nisan 14 (Ex 12:6; Lev 23:5, 6) the day when the lambs had to be sacrificed. The actual Feast of Unleavened Bread followed for the next 7 days (Nisan 15-21). 

Passover (Lk 22:1, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15)(3957)(pascha) depending on the context refers to the Passover lamb (Lk 22:7), the Passover meal (Lk 22:8), or the festival of Passover (Lk 22:1).

Related Resources:

Had to be (must) (1163)(dei from deo = to bind or tie objects together, put in prison and also root of doulos, bond-servant) refers to what is not optional but binding out of intrinsic necessity - the sacrifice was necessary on Nisan 14 to fulfill the meaning of the Feast of Passover. The First Passover set the captives free from Egypt. The Last Passover (the ultimate Passover) sets the slaves free from sin. It MUST come to pass in order to fulfill God's plan of Redemption. 

Sacrificed - The lamb to be sacrificed was selected on the 10th day of the month Nisan (Ex 12:3) and then slain between 2:30-5:00 in the afternoon in the courtyard of the Temple. The Passover feast itself did not begin until sunset. 

Now we come to the difficult part -- There is no question that the Last Supper of Jesus with His disciples on Thursday evening was also a Passover meal (Mt. 26:17-19; Mk 14:12-16; Lk 22:7-15). The problem is that John 18:28 records "Then (THIS IS AFTER THE THURSDAY PASSOVER AND AFTER JESUS' ARREST)they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover." So you can see the potential conflict - Jesus celebrated Passover on the preceding Thursday evening and these Jews would celebrate Passover on Friday evening. The related question arises arises that if Jesus celebrated Passover on Thursday evening, He would have eaten a roasted lamb that had been sacrificed as a "Passover lamb" on Thursday afternoon (cf Ex 12:9). So again you can readily see the potential problem for how could Jesus eat the Passover lamb on Thursday and also be the Passover Lamb on Friday when the lambs were slaughtered for the evening Passover meal? There is also a statement in John which is difficult to resolve.

John MacArthur give some more background on this apparent conflict...

The apostle John notes that after the Passover meal (ED: ON THURSDAY EVENING) Jesus took His disciples out of the city to the Garden of Gethsemane, which was on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. He was arrested there and taken first to the high priest Annas (John 18:13) and then to the house of his father-in-law, Caiaphas, who also still held the title of high priest (John 18:24). A few hours later, while it was still early on Friday morning, Jesus was taken to Pilate. But the Jewish leaders would "not enter into the Praetorium (or here) in order that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover" (John 18:28). Unlike Jesus and the disciples, those Jews obviously had not yet eaten the Passover. Some interpreters suggest that because those religious leaders would surely have celebrated the Passover at the proper time, Jesus must have moved His observance up a day. But Jesus was meticulous in His observance of the Mosaic law and would not have desecrated such an important feast by observing it at the wrong time. Even had He wanted to do such a thing, however, He could not have, because the lamb eaten at the Passover meal first had to be slaughtered by a priest in the Temple and have its blood sprinkled on the altar. No priest would have performed that ritual a day earlier; or even an hour earlier, than the law prescribed. Other scholars suggest that the chief priests and elders involved in Jesus' arrest were a day late in their observance. But in spite of their control of the Temple, even those ungodly men would not have dared make an exception for themselves for this most celebrated of all feasts. Not only that, but John recognized Friday as the legitimate Passover day reporting that when Pilate finally agreed to Jesus' crucifixion "it was the day of preparation for the Passover" (John 19:14). In the same verse he states that "it was about the sixth hour," that is, noon on Friday. Some three hours later, "about the ninth hour;" (ED: NINTH HOUR = 3 PM BY HEBREW TIME, THE HOUR WHEN THE PRIESTS BEGAN TO SACRIFICE THE PASSOVER LAMBS IN THE TEMPLE - "DARKNESS FELL OVER THE WHOLE LAND" FROM NOON UNTIL 3PM, AT WHICH TIME TWO EVENTS OCCURRED - THE VEIL OF THE TEMPLE WAS TORN IN TWO AND JESUS' CRIED OUT AND BREATHED HIS LAST JUST AS THE PASSOVER LAMBS WERE BEGINNING TO BE SACRIFICED - Lk 23:44-46). Jesus cried out from the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). Shortly after that, "Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit" (Mt 27:50). John therefore specifically recounts that our Lord died within the prescribed time of sacrifice for the Passover lambs, from three to five o'clock in the afternoon of Passover day. At the very time those lambs were being sacrificed in the Temple, "Christ our Passover also [was] sacrificed" on Calvary (1 Cor. 5:7). (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew)

So the question is if Jesus was crucified as the Lamb of God on the Passover on Friday (and He was), why did Jesus observe the Passover meal on the previous Thursday evening? How is it possible to reconcile the Scriptural record?

The table below lays out the chronology of the last two days of Jesus' life. A number of sources tell us that there were two ways of reckoning the beginning of the Passover. One is based on the northern Galilean mode of reckoning the Passover from Sunrise to Sunrise. This would explain how Jesus would be able to celebrate the Passover/Last Supper on Thursday evening and still be the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb on Friday afternoon on the day of Passover. The second mode of reckoning the Passover was from Sunset to Sunset. Using this chronology the Jews who held to this timing would be able to kill the Passover Lambs beginning at 3 PM that would then be eaten at their Passover Meal on Friday evening. The killing of the Passover Lambs corresponds to the exact time when Jesus the Lamb of God gave up His life on the Cross. See John MacArthur's explanation below









Sacrificed 3 PM


  Jesus sacrificed 
Dies at 3 PM When Lambs
were being Sacrificed


Jesus Celebrates 
Passover/Lord's Supper


  Jews Celebrate 
the Passover Meal

In the Gospel of John Leon Morris has a lengthy discourse on this "thorny topic" (Pages 684-695) and below is his conclusion...

The evidence is thus confusing, and it is not in the least surprising that scholars have come to very different conclusions. I do not see how we can be dogmatic in our present state of knowledge. The most natural reading of the Synoptists shows the Last Supper there to be the Passover. The most natural reading of John shows that Jesus was crucified at the very time the Passover victims were slain in the Temple. While it is undoubtedly possible to interpret the accounts in such a way that we make them tell the same story, it seems better to see them as the result of following different calendars. According to the calendar Jesus was following the meal was the Passover. But the Temple authorities followed another, according to which the sacrificial victims were slain the next day. John appears to make use of this to bring out the truth that Christ was slain as our Passover.

F F Bruce, “while John times his passion narrative with reference to the official temple date of the Passover, our Lord and his disciples, following (it may be) another calendar, observed the festival earlier” (p. 279).

So also I. H. Marshall, “Our conclusion, then, is that Jesus held a Passover meal earlier than the official Jewish date, and that he was able to do so as the result of calendar differences among the Jews” (Last Supper and Lord’s Supper [Exeter, 1980], p. 75). (NTCNT-John)

John MacArthur helps understand the difference between John and the Synoptic Gospels

The chronological reckoning between John's gospel and the synoptics presents a challenge, especially in relation to the time of the Last Supper (John 13:2). While the synoptics portray the disciples and the Lord at the Last Supper as eating the Passover meal on Thursday evening (Nisan 14) and Jesus being crucified on Friday, John's gospel states that the Jews did not enter into the Praetorium "so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover" (John 18:28). So, the disciples had eaten the Passover on Thursday evening, but the Jews had not. In fact, John (John 19:14) states that Jesus' trial and crucifixion were on the day of Preparation for the Passover and not after the eating of the Passover, so that with the trial and crucifixion on Friday Christ was actually sacrificed at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain (John 19:14). The question is, "Why did the disciples eat the Passover meal on Thursday?"

The answer lies in a difference among the Jews in the way they reckoned the beginning and ending of days. From Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish sources we learn that the Jews in northern Palestine calculated days from sunrise to sunrise. That area included the region of Galilee, where Jesus and all the disciples, except Judas, had grown up. Apparently most, if not all, of the Pharisees used that system of reckoning. But Jews in the southern part, which centered in Jerusalem, calculated days from sunset to sunset. Because all the priests necessarily lived in or near Jerusalem, as did most of the Sadducees, those groups followed the southern scheme.

That variation doubtlessly caused confusion at times, but it also had some practical benefits. During Passover time, for instance, it allowed for the feast to be celebrated legitimately on two adjoining days, thereby permitting the temple sacrifices to be made over a total period of four hours rather than two. That separation of days may also have had the effect of reducing both regional and religious clashes between the two groups.

On that basis the seeming contradictions in the gospel accounts are easily explained. Being Galileans, Jesus and the disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday and to end at sunrise on Friday. The Jewish leaders who arrested and tried Jesus, being mostly priests and Sadducees, considered Passover day to begin at sunset on Thursday and end at sunset on Friday. By that variation, predetermined by God's sovereign provision, Jesus could thereby legitimately celebrate the last Passover meal with His disciples and yet still be sacrificed on Passover day.

Once again one can see how God sovereignly and marvelously provides for the precise fulfillment of His redemptive plan. Jesus was anything but a victim of men's wicked schemes, much less of blind circumstance. Every word He spoke and every action He took were divinely directed and secured. Even the words and actions by others against Him were divinely controlled. See, e.g., John 11:49-52; 19:11. (Interpretative Difficulties) (See another discussion by MacArthur in his sermon on Mt 26:17-19 The Last Passover Part 1)

See also Dr MacArthur's Study Guide on The Lord's Supper - Select passages from the "The Last Passover - Part 1" from the drop down menu - 

Jim Bomkamp -  “In their excellent Harmony of the Gospels, Robert Thomas and Stanley Gundry suggest a possible solution to the dilemma (pp. 320-23).  The Jews at that time reckoned days in one of two ways:  from sunset to sunset or from sunrise to sunrise.  The first approach was traditionally Jewish (Ge 1:5) while the second was Roman, although it had biblical precedent (see Ge 8:22). If Matthew, Mark, and Luke used the Jewish reckoning, and John the Roman, then there is no contradiction.  There was an “overlapping” of days that permitted both groups to celebrate on the same date but a different day.  The temple priests permitted the Jews to bring their lambs for sacrifice either the earlier or the later time.  Apparently the Jewish leaders followed the Roman form of reckoning (John 18:28) while Jesus and the disciples followed the Jewish form.” (Sermon)

Bible Knowledge Commentary - The Synoptic Gospels speak of the meal Jesus ate with His disciples as the Passover meal. But the Gospel of John indicates Jesus died on the cross at the exact time that lambs were slain in preparation for the nation's Passover meals (John 19:14). But this can be explained by the fact that the Feast of Unleavened Bread was a seven-day feast following the one-day Feast of the Passover, but sometimes all eight days were called "the Passover" (Luke 2:41; 22:1; Acts 12:3-4) or the seven days were the "Passover Week" (John 19:14) A different explanation is that Jews in the first century followed two calendars in observing the Passover. According to this view Jesus and His disciples observed one date, eating the Passover meal before His crucifixion, whereas most of the nation, including the Pharisees, followed the other calendar in which the Passover lambs were slain on the very day of Jesus' death.

Norman Geisler -  Did Jesus institute the Lord’s Supper on the day of the Passover or the day before?  PROBLEM: If the first three Gospels (synoptics) are correct, then Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper “on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb” (cf. Matt. 26:17; Luke 22:1). But John places it “before the feast of the Passover” (13:1), the day before the crucifixion on which “they might eat the Passover” (18:28). SOLUTION: There are two basic positions embraced by evangelical scholars on this point. Those who hold that Jesus ate the Passover lamb (and instituted the Lord’s Supper at the end of it) on the same day it was observed by the Jews, support their view as follows: (1) It was the day required by OT Law, and Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17–18). (2) It seems to be the meaning of Mark 14:12 which says it was “on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb.” (3) When John 19:14 speaks of it being “the Preparation Day of the Passover” they take this to mean simply the preparation for the Sabbath which occurred in that paschal week.  Other scholars contend that Jesus ate the Passover lamb on the day before the Jews did because: (1) He had to eat it a day early (Thursday) in order that He might offer Himself the next day (Good Friday) as the Passover Lamb (cf. John 1:29) to the Jews, in fulfillment of OT type on the very day they were eating the Passover lamb (1 Cor. 5:7). (2) The plain reading of John 19:14 is that it was “the Preparation Day of the Passover” [not the Sabbath], or in other words, the day before the Passover was eaten by the Jews. (3) Likewise, John 18:28 affirms that the Jews did not want to be defiled on the day Jesus was crucified “that they might eat the Passover.”   Either view is possible without contradiction. (When Critics Ask)

William Lane commenting on the parallel passages in Mark gives us an overview of the difficult to resolve differences between the accounts in the Synoptic Gospels and the account in the Gospel of John: 

The chronological note in Mk 14:12 (Lk 22:7) clearly implies that the meal which Jesus celebrated with his disciples was the Passover and that the day of his arrest, condemnation and crucifixion was the 15th of Nisan. The Fourth Gospel, however, appears to situate Jesus’ death in the framework of the preparation for the Passover on the 14th of Nisan (John 18:28; 19:14, 31, 42), which would mean that the meal could not have been the Passover. The resolution of this difficulty is one of the most difficult issues in passion chronology.

There are a number of positive elements in the Marcan narrative which substantiate that the Last Supper was a Passover meal. The return to Jerusalem in the evening for the meal (Mk 14:17) is significant, for the paschal meal had to be eaten within the city walls (M. Pesachim VII. 9). An ordinary meal was taken in the late afternoon, but a meal which begins in the evening and continues into the night reflects Passover practice (Ex 12:8; Jubilees 49:12). The reference to reclining (Mk 14:18) satisfies a requirement of the Passover feast in the first century when custom demanded that even the poorest man recline for the festive meal (M. Pesachim X. 1). While a normal meal began with the breaking of bread, on this occasion Jesus broke the bread during the meal and following the serving of a dish (Mk 14:18–20, 22). The Passover meal was the one occasion when the serving of a dish preceded the breaking of bread. The use of wine was generally reserved for festive occasions and was characteristic of the Passover (M. Pesachim X. 1). Finally, the interpretation of the elements of the meal conforms to Passover custom where the haggadah (or interpretation) is an integral part of the meal. The cumulative evidence supports the claim made in Mk 14:12, 14, 16 that the disciples prepared a Passover meal and that the external forms of the Passover were observed at the meal itself.

There are indications that the Fourth Evangelist also regarded the meal which Jesus shared with his disciples as a Passover. The feast takes place within Jerusalem even though the city was thronged with pilgrims (John 12:12, 18, 20; 13:2; 18:1; cf. Mark 14:17). The supper is held in the evening and lasts into the night (John 13:30; cf. Mark 14:17). The meal was ceremonial in character and the participants reclined at table (John 13:12, 23, 25, 28; cf. Mark 14:18). Finally, the walk to Gethsemane followed by the betrayal conforms to the Marcan sequence of events (John 18:1ff.; Mark 14:26ff.). In this light it seems that the concern of the priests expressed in John 18:28, that they should not become defiled and so be prohibited from eating “the pesach,” has reference not to the paschal lamb (which would have been eaten the evening before) but to the chagigah, the paschal sacrifices (lambs, kids, bulls) which were offered throughout the festival week. These paschal sacrifices are designated by the term pesach in Deut. 16:2 and 2 Chron. 35:7. If this understanding informed the tradition John has transmitted, the apparent contradiction with the evidence of Mark is removed. (NICNT-Mark)

In the present context the time phrase then came the first day introduces this next section which is commonly referred to as the Last Supper.  Mark 14:12+ records their question "Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

Passover (3957)(pascha) in this passage refers to the paschal lamb whereas in Lk 22:1 pascha referred to the entire Passover feast and in Luke 22:8, 11, 13, 15 pascha refers to the Passover meal during which the roasted lamb was eaten. 

John Phillips - The Passover lamb was slain, its blood poured out, and its body put on a spit. One length of pomegranate wood was thrust through the lamb horizontally and another thrust through it vertically, so it was impaled upon a cross of wood and then roasted in the fire.

The parallel between the Old and New Testaments regarding the Passover is striking - The Passover in the OT commemorated Israel's redemption from bondage in Egypt by the blood of a blemish free lamb and the Passover in the NT commemorated mankind's redemption from bondage to sin and Satan by the precious blood of the Passover Lamb of God (Jn 1:29, 1 Cor 5:7, 1 Pet 1:18-19+).

Spurgeon - Notice how carefully our Lord respected the ordinances of that dispensation so long as it lasted. The passover was an essential rite of the Jewish faith, and our Lord therefore duly observed it. Learn hence, dear brethren, to esteem very highly the ordinances of God’s house; let baptism and the Lord’s supper keep their proper places. You do them serious injury if you lift them out of their right places, and try to make saving ordinances of them; but, in avoiding that evil, do not fall into the opposite error of neglecting them. What Christ has ordained, it is for his people to maintain with care until he comes again; and if he kept up the passover even when, in himself, it was already on the point of being fulfilled, let us keep up the ordinances which he has enjoined upon us. If any of you have neglected either of them, let me remind you of his gracious words, “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness,” and “This do ye, in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22 Exposition)

Rod Mattoon - The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a picture of our relationship and walk with God. Leaven is a type or symbol of sin in the Bible. As leaven was removed from Jewish homes, we are to remove sinful habits, actions, attitudes, and associations from our lives. We are to get the leaven of sinful living out! It was Paul who told us to "put off or get some things out of our lives. (Colossians 3:8-9+). 

The Question in the Old Testament was...Where is the Lamb?

The Answer in the New Testament is...Behold the Lamb!

The Cry throughout eternity will be...Worthy is the Lamb!

Luke 22:8   And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it."

KJV Luke 22:8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

Barclay - Jesus despatched Peter and John. "Go," he said, "and make ready the Passover for us that we may eat it."


Parallel Passages

Matthew 26:18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”  

Mark 14:13+ And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him

And Jesus sent Peter and John - Only Luke gives the names of the two disciples (who were also present at His transfiguration). As the book of Acts indicates Peter and John became leaders of the Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 3:1-3, 11; 4:13, 19; 8:14). 

Go and prepare (hetoimazo) the Passover (pascha) for us, so that we may eat it - What is fascinating is the fact that while the disciples are preparing for the Passover feast, God Himself is orchestrating events to prepare His Passover Lamb of God. How? Through the murderous thoughts of the Jewish religious leaders, the interaction of Satan and the betrayal of Judas by word and deed. In short, while they prepare the Passover for Jesus, God is preparing Jesus for them and for all who trust in Him (cf Acts 2:23+). As John wrote "“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) Paul looking backwards concurs writing "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed." (1 Cor 5:7). 

Of course a major part of the preparation was to procure a blemish free lamb which most likely would have been done on Monday, the 10th of Nisan (cf Ex 12:2, 5, 6), for that was the day on which the lamb was to be inspected for blemishes. Then on the day they were to celebrate the Passover meal, they would have to take the lamb to the Temple to be inspected and sacrificed by the priests. Only two men were allowed to bring the lamb (thus Peter and John) because otherwise the courtyard would have become much too crowded given the thousands of lambs that needed to be sacrificed in the small window of time which had been prescribed. According to Josephus the lambs had to be sacrificed between the 9th and the 11th hour which would be from 3 PM to 5 PM (As an aside, just imagine this bloody scene in the Temple with the blood of 1000's of lambs being spilled, and yet even then not being able "to take away sins"-cf Heb 10:4+) . The 12th hour would have been sunset after which the Passover would commence. So Peter and John would have to return to the upper room and roast the lamb. In addition they would have to procure the other elements for the feast (click for elements necessary for the Passover Seder). Thus, presumably they would have gone out to purchase the wine, etc, but none of the Gospel accounts give details. In any event, this was clearly no small task given the crowds in the city and the small window of time. Recall that the city was so crowded because the Passover could only be celebrated within the city limits.  While the text does not say, another possibility is that when Peter and John arrived at the furnished room, it was not only furnished with pillows, carpets and table for the meal, but even the necessary ingredients for the meal. Clearly, it was all accomplished in time for God was in total control of this monumental last Passover. All of this preparation and procurement of multiple necessities makes me think of Php 4:19 "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Do you really believe that declaration?

Prepare (2090)(hetoimazo from heteos = fitness - see study of related word hetoimasia) means to make ready, specifically to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity. Put or keep in readiness, prepare Mt 22:4; 25:34, 41; Mk 1:3; Lk 22:13; Jn14:2f; Rev 9:7; 21:2; make preparations Lk 9:52. Friberg -  prepare, make ready; (1) with a thing as the object put or keep in readiness, prepare (Mt 26.19); (2) with a person as the object make ready, prepare (Lk 1.17); (3) of what God provides for believers prepare, have ready (1Co 2.9) (Borrow Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament)

This verb is used 4x in this section - Lk 22:8, 9, 12, 13. All 40 uses - Matt. 3:3; Matt. 20:23; Matt. 22:4; Matt. 25:34; Matt. 25:41; Matt. 26:17; Matt. 26:19; Mk. 1:3; Mk. 10:40; Mk. 14:12; Mk. 14:15; Mk. 14:16; Lk. 1:17; Lk. 1:76; Lk. 2:31; Lk. 3:4; Lk. 9:52; Lk. 12:20; Lk. 12:47; Lk. 17:8; Lk. 22:8; Lk. 22:9; Lk. 22:12; Lk. 22:13; Lk. 23:56; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 14:2; Jn. 14:3; Acts 23:23; 1 Co. 2:9; 2 Tim. 2:21; Phile. 1:22; Heb. 11:16; Rev. 8:6; Rev. 9:7; Rev. 9:15; Rev. 12:6; Rev. 16:12; Rev. 19:7; Rev. 21:2

Passover (3957)(pascha)refers to the meal during which the roasted lamb was eaten as part of the Passover Seder. 

Bock - "Their tasks are to secure a room, get the lamb slain at the temple, pick up bitter herbs, purchase the unleavened bread, and obtain wine for the meal....The future leaders of the apostolic group are here learning to serve." 

J Ligon Duncan adds "J.I. Packer was asked a few years ago, “Dr. Packer, could you summarize the New Testament in three words?” And he said, “Yes.” You’re not surprised, are you? “Yes,” he said, “Adoption through propitiation.” He said, “We are forgiven and welcomed as children into God's family through the propitiation of Jesus Christ” - through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is our what? Our Passover Lamb." (Sermon)

Duncan goes on to read a sermon ("Peri Pascha - On the Passover" - here is the text of the sermon - scroll to bottom for quote below) from Melito of Sardis preached in the second century (AD) 

“’I am the One,’ says the Christ, ‘I am the One that destroyed death and triumphed over the enemy and tried down hell and found the strong one and carried off man to the heights of heaven. I am the One,’ says the Christ. Come then, all you families of men who are compounded with sins and get forgiveness of sins from Me, for I am your forgiveness. I am the pascha of salvation. I am the lamb slain for you. I am your ransom. I am you life. I am your light. I am your salvation. I am your resurrection. I am your king. I will raise you up by my right hand. I am leading you up to the heights of heaven. There I will show you the Father from ages past. It is He who made the heaven and the earth and fashioned man in the beginning, who is proclaimed through the Law and the prophets, who was enfleshed upon a virgin, who hung upon a tree, who was buried in the earth and raised from the dead and went up to the heights of heaven, who sits at the Father's right hand, who has the power to save every man through whom the Father did His works from beginning to eternity. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning and the end, beginning inexpressible and end incomprehensible. He is the Christ. He is the King. He is Jesus. He is the captain. He is the Lord. He is the One who rose from the dead. He is the One who sits at the Father's right hand. He carries the Father and is carried by the Father. To Him be the glory and power forever. Amen.’”

It is interesting to note that the events preceding the Triumphal Entry parallel the events surrounding the preparation for the Last Supper.

(1) In both Jesus commissioned two disciples (Lk 19:29),

(2) In both Jesus had foreknowledge of what they would encounter (Lk 19:30-31).

(3) In both the response of those encountered by the two disciples is similar (See Lk 19:32-34 cf Lk 22:11-12).

In summary, in both situations, all was exactly as Jesus had said it would be. Beloved, that is always the case. Every promise Jesus makes to us is true and trustworthy. And "all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Him. That is why we say "Amen" when we give glory to God through Christ." (2 Cor 1:20)

Jewish commentator Arnold Fruchtenbaum gives a few other details involved in the preparation of the Passover lamb:

1. The disciples had to go with a lamb to the Temple compound where the lamb would be checked to make sure that it was without spot or blemish. 

2. The lamb would be killed at the Temple compound.

3. The blood would be poured into a bowl.

4. At the Temple there would be three long lines of Levites who would pass the bowls from one to another down the lines until it got to the altar, and the blood would be poured out at the base of the altar. This took place from 3 pm to 5 pm.

5. The lamb would be skinned and have it’s entrails removed.

6. Parts of the lamb would be left for the priests, who would bring it upon the altar.

7. The rest of the lamb would be taken home to be roasted for the Passover meal.

Kent Hughes adds some additional details on what was involved in the preparation:

The day of sacrifice was given entirely to festive preparations. A massive assembly of priests (twenty-four divisions instead of the customary single division) arrived at the temple early. Their first duty was to burn all the leaven that had been ceremonially collected by candlelight and spoon the preceding night (M. Pesahim 1–3). By noon all work ceased.  At mid afternoon, 3:00 P.M., the ritual slaughtering began (M. Pesahim 5.1). This was completed in three huge shifts. When the first group entered in and the temple court was filled, the gates of the court were closed. A priest’s shofar played a sustained blast, and the sacrifices began (M. Pesahim 5.5). The pilgrims approached two long rows of priests holding basins of silver and gold. Each Israelite slaughtered his own offering, and the priest caught the blood, which was then tossed at the base of the altar (M. Pesahim 5.5, 6). As the offerer left the temple, the slain lamb and its skin was draped over his shoulder (T.B. Pesahim 6.5b).

That evening the Passover was observed in a home or room reserved for the occasion. The lamb was roasted on a pomegranate spit (M. Pesahim 7.1). Inside, the company dressed in festive white and reclined at tables with the leader at the head. In Jesus’ time the celebration had added elements beyond the Old Testament’s prescriptions. There was a seder (See Seder), a set order of service (M. Pesahim 10.1-9). The celebrants reclined while they ate because they were no longer slaves (cf. Ex 12:11). It was the host’s duty to interpret each of the foods on the table as it related to their deliverance from Egypt. The bitter herbs recalled their bitter slavery. The stewed fruit, by its color and consistency, recalled the misery of making bricks for Pharaoh. The roasted lamb brought to their remembrance the lamb’s blood applied to the doorposts, their eating of the lamb within their house, and the death angel’s passing over them as it destroyed the firstborn of Egypt. The celebration concluded late, but many people returned to the streets to continue celebrating. Others returned to the temple mount to await the reopening of the temple gates at midnight, so they could spend the rest of the evening in worship and prayer (cf. Josephus, Antiquities 18.2.2). (See Luke: That You May Know the Truth)

Luke 22:9   They said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare it?"

KJV Luke 22:9  And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?


Parallel Passages

Matthew 26:17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

Mark 14:12+ On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

They were not hesitant to obey, but were a bit perplexed and thus their question.

They said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare (hetoimazo) it (the pascha) ?" - In order to obey Jesus' command, they had to know where to make the preparations. Neither Matthew nor Mark record Peter and John's question. It was an excellent question because it would have been very difficult to find a vacant room within the city itself at this late date given that the population had swollen to probably several hundred thousand (with a few sources estimating even more than a million pilgrims). So their question of "where" was very practical .

Notice that Matthew and Mark say "prepare for You to eat the Passover (pascha)." They did not say "for US to eat the Passover," for their focus was on their Lord (cf Heb 12:2+). This is a good example for all of Jesus' disciples to follow -- when we serve Him, we need to remember we are doing it for Jesus, for His glory and not for ourselves or for our glory! If you are like me, this calls for continual readjustment of my heart attitude (I'm just being honest)! 

As Catherine Marshall said "Obedience is all over the Gospels. The pliability of an obedient heart must be complete from our wills right on through to our actions."

Darrell Bock comments on the parsing of the verb hetoimazo in this verse (hetoimasomen) noting that it is "a deliberative subjunctive that shows the disciples’ desire to follow Jesus’ instructions. They are ready to do what Jesus asks so that they can celebrate the solemn day together." (Amen!)

THOUGHT- Even as John the Baptist was to prepare (hetoimazo) the way for Jesus' incarnation, Peter and John are to prepare the way for His inauguration of the New Covenant. And in a sense all believers today are to "prepare" the way for His Second Coming by proclaiming the Gospel to all people groups on the globe, to "make disciples of of all the nations" (Mt 28:19+). 

Luke 22:10   And He said to them, "When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters.

KJV Luke 22:10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house 


Parallel Passages

Matthew 26:18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”  

Comment: Neither Luke nor Mark mention Jesus' words "My time (kairos - season, epoch) is near" (or at hand). What time? The time to eat the Passover and inaugurate the New Covenant in His blood and/or the time of His sacrificial death as the Lamb of God. 

Mark 14:13+ And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 

And He said to them, "When you have entered the city - When they had entered the city of Jerusalem. The Passover had to be prepared at a location within the city of Jerusalem because it could not be eaten outside of the city walls. 

Unfortunately NAS does not translate idou (which is in the original Greek text) which means "Behold" (aorist imperative) - It should read "And He said to them, "Behold..." Behold is used to prompt one to pay close attention to what follows. It was critical that Peter and John understand the "signal" of "a man" with "a pitcher of water."

Bock notes that "Tradition dictated that Passover be celebrated in the temple courts (Deut. 16:16; 2 Chron. 35:16–19; Jub. 49.15–16). When pilgrims became too numerous for the temple, the entire city served as a suitable locale (Fitzmyer 1985: 1377)." (Baker Exegetical Commentary - Luke)

A man will meet (sunantao) you carrying (bastazo) a pitcher (keramion) of water - Will meet is future tense and is clearly a prophetic promise. A man Matthew calls "a certain man" (Mt 26:18) but does not mention that he is carrying a pitcher of water. Some have said the situation was now out of Jesus' control, but this verse makes it crystal clear that Jesus was in full control. A man carrying a pitcher of water was not the usual custom and thus was a signal (either pre-arranged by Jesus or the result of a miraculous communication with the man). Normally, only women carried water pots (cf Ge 24:11, Jn 4:7), while men carried wineskins, so a man coming up to Peter and John with a pitcher of water would leave no doubt this was the man Jesus had described.

It is interesting that this man came to meet them not the converse. In other words this man had received communication in some way (directly from Jesus previously or by some supernatural means) that Peter and John would be coming into the city to prepare the Passover. And this man would have to find them out of the literally thousands that were walking through the city streets! Sounds a bit like traffic in Austin, Texas! And so it is easy to overlook the miraculous aspect of this rendevous, but it was indeed a miracle that the man found Peter and John as they entered a city packed with pilgrims for the Passover. Not only did he find them, but he recognized them. 

THOUGHT - Pause for a moment and ponder your service for the Lord Jesus. You may be an "eye" or a "hand" (1 Cor 12:15-16), or you may be a "foot," and as such you wonder "Is there really any value in what I am doing for the Lord? Am I really making a contribution? No one even knows my name or what I do." WRONG! The Teacher knows your name and He esteems your value no less then the one who preaches or teaches. No one knew this man's name except God, but that is really all that matters in eternity. Be faithful in whatever He has given you to do. One day He will introduce you to the man who did the woman's job of carrying a pitcher of water and you will both bask in the rewards for being faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Barnes comments - The direction which Jesus gave his disciples most clearly proves that he was omniscient. Amidst so great a multitude going at that time into the city, it was impossible to know that a particular man would be met a man bearing a pitcher of water-unless Jesus had all knowledge, and was therefore Divine.

William MacDonald makes a spiritual application - The man here makes a good picture of the Holy Spirit, who leads seeking souls to the place of communion with the Lord. (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

Why the "cloak and dagger" approach to finding a place to meet? Judas would not know the room and could not alert the authorities, because Jesus did not even tell Peter the man's name or the location of the evening Passover. In addition, Jesus wanted this special meal of meals to be in a location in which they would not be disturbed. And in the providence of God, Jesus will somehow be able to get to the location without attracting attention of a crowd. This is another implicit miracle! God was in complete control of every detail of this epoch meal, probably the most important meal in all eternity!

Meet (4876)(sunantao from sún = with + antáō = to meet) means literally to meet (Jesus when He came down from the transfiguration - Lk 9:37, Lk 22:30), of Cornelius meeting Peter (Acts 10:25), of Melchizedek who met Abraham (Heb 7:1+, Heb 7:10+). Figuratively, sunantao describes events which come to pass, happen or befall someone in the sense of that which one meets up with ("not knowing what will happen to me there" = Acts 20:22). In classic Greek sunantao meant meet with, encounter, happen to. Several times in the Septuagint the verb speaks of man meeting with God (or angels) (Ge 32:1, Ex 4:24, Ex 5:3, Nu 23:16). 

Gilbrant - Occasionally it is used of something that would “befall” or “happen to” a person (ibid.), but usually it refers to two or more people “meeting face-to-face.” This latter usage is most common in the Septuagint (e.g., Ge 32:1,2; Eccl 2:14). There is at least one figurative use where “Lovingkindness and truth have met together;” (Ps 85:10). 

Sunantao - Lk. 9:37; Lk. 22:10; Acts 10:25; Acts 20:22; Heb. 7:1; Heb. 7:10

Sunantao - 61x in 60v in the Septuagint -  Ge 32:1 (= "the angels of God met him"); Ge 32:17 (= “When my brother Esau meets you"); Ge 46:28; Ex 4:24 (= "the LORD met him and sought to put him to death"); Ex 4:27; Ex 5:3 (= "The God of the Hebrews has met with us"); Ex 5:20; Ex 7:15; Ex 23:4; Nu 23:16 (= "Then the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth"); Nu 35:19; Nu 35:21; Dt. 22:6; Dt. 23:4; Dt. 31:29; Jos. 2:16; Jos. 11:20; Jdg. 8:21; Jdg. 15:12; Jdg. 18:25; Jdg. 20:41; 2 Sa 2:13; 2 Sa 18:9; Neh. 12:38; Neh. 13:2; Job 3:12; Job 3:25; Job 4:14; Job 5:14; Job 27:20; Job 30:26; Job 39:22; Job 41:26; Ps. 85:10; Pr 7:10; Pr 9:18; Pr 12:13; Pr 12:23; Pr 17:20; Pr 20:30; Pr 22:2; Pr 24:8; Eccl. 2:14; Eccl. 2:15; Eccl. 9:11; Isa. 8:14; Isa. 14:9; Isa. 21:14; Isa. 34:14; Isa. 34:15; Isa. 64:5;

Carrying (941)(bastazo) means to bear and is used by Luke to describe bearing a "coffin" (Lk 7:14), bearing a child (Lk 11:27), metaphorically of carrying one's cross (Lk 14:27) and literally of Jesus bearing His cross (Jn 19:17). 

Pitcher (2765)(keramion from keramos = tile from kerannumi = to mix, as mixing clay and water; Latin - testa; English ceramic) is an earthenware or clay vessel which could be a pitcher, jar, jug, and be used for water, oil or wine. Used only here and in Mk 14:13. In Jesus' day women carried water pots on their shoulder. Men carried skins for wine or water. There are 3 uses in the Septuagint - Isa. 5:10; Isa. 30:14, Jer 42:5.

Follow him into the house that he enters - They would not know the house until they had arrived. Presumably after preparing for the Passover, they remained at the house until Jesus arrived later. If they had gone back Judas might have discovered the location. 

Follow (aorist imperative - Don't delay!)(190)(akoloutheo from a = expresses union with, likeness + keleuthos = a road, way) means to walk the same road

THOUGHT - Ponder that simple definition dear believer - Am I willing to walk the same road as Jesus? Or in keeping with the context of this verse, am I willing to follow those He places before me as my spiritual leader?

Luke 22:11 "And you shall say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"'

KJV Luke 22:11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

Source: ESV Study Bible


Parallel Passages

Matthew 26:18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man (LUKE - "THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE") and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; (CONTRAST ALL THE TIMES HE SAID "MY HOUR HAS NOT YET COME" - BUT NOW IS THE MOMENT) I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples (I.E. "I AM OBLIGATED TO KEEP THE PASSOVER AT YOUR HOUSE...").”  (Sermon

Mark 14:14+ and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 

And you shall say to the owner of the house - As noted above Jesus does not disclose the owner's name lest Judas hear and alert the Jewish leaders of the location.

IVP Background Commentary - Anyone with a two-story home, the second of which contained a “large” upper room, would be considered well-to-do. This family presumably resided in the Upper City of Jerusalem, near the temple, rather than the poorer Lower City, downwind of Jerusalem’s sewage.

The Teacher says to you - There were many teachers in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover, but somehow the owner would know this "Teacher" was a reference to Jesus. Jesus may have pre-arranged this encounter or it may simply be supernatural. Matthew adds the detail (not in Luke or Mark) that "The Teacher says, “My time (kairos = is a specific epoch, not just any time in general) is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”  (Mt 26:18)  What time? The time to eat the Passover and to inaugurate the New Covenant in His blood and/or the time of His sacrificial death as the Lamb of God. 

The term "the Teacher" fits with their being disciples and thus also this man most probably being a genuine disciple of Jesus (since he would recognize and/or acknowledge that designation). He could have said "the Lord" but that conveys more of a Master-slave relationship. And in the Upper Room discourse Jesus gives during the Passover celebration, He tells His disciples "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you". (John 15:15). 

Notice that Jesus rightly emphasizes His possession of all that is involved in this unique time in all of eternity - "My time," "My guest room," "My disciples" " My body" (Lk 22:19), "My blood" (Lk 22:20), "My trials," (Lk 22:28), "My Father," (Lk 22:29), "My table in My Kingdom," (Lk 22:30), "Not My will." (Lk 22:42).

Teacher (1320) (didaskalos from didasko = teach to shape will of one being taught by content of what is taught <> cp didaskalía) is one who provides instruction or systematically imparts truth. The Greek has the definite article (to = the) in front of didaskalos, signifying not just any teacher in general, but THE Teacher, in fact the Teacher of teachers! The disciples and even the Scribes and Pharisees called Jesus "Teacher." (Mt 8:19, 9:11, 12:38, 17:24, 19:16, 22:16, 22:24, 22:36, 23:8, 26:18, etc).

Matthew 26:18 adds Jesus' words “My time is near." MacArthur explains that "Jesus' statement, "My time is at hand," was perhaps more for the sake of the disciples than the two men whom Peter and John would encounter. Time does not translate chronos, which refers to a general space or succession of time, but rather to kairos, a specific and often predetermined period or moment of time. Jesus' time was also, of course, the Father's time, the divinely appointed time when the Son would offer Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of the world (cf. 1 John 2:2). Until now that monumental time had not come and could not have come (see John 7:6), but at this particular Passover it could not fail to come, because it was divinely ordained and fixed. That last Passover supper would set in motion the final, irreversible countdown, as it were, for the crucifixion. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew) (Bolding added)

Where is the guest room  - Matthew has "My guest room."

Guest room (2646)(kataluma from kata = intensifier + luo = to loose) means literally an unloosing of what was bound and referred to a place to lodge or inn because the ancient travelers on arrival loosened their belts, sandals, and saddles of their animals. There are only 3 NT uses, two referring to a guest room in context of the Passover (Lk 22:11 and  Mark 14:14) and the third in Lk 2:7 referring to an inn.  As a Baby there was "no room in the inn" (Lk 2:7+) for Jesus' parents. By analogy there was was probably not a single "vacancy" in all of Jerusalem during the Passover festival. Traditionally, rooms were made available at essentially no charge to pilgrims coming to the Passover. The only "payment" was the skin of the lamb that had been sacrificed and the vessels used in the feast. But once again, God superintends the details to assure that there would be one room available for Jesus to eat Passover with His disciples and to deliver His great "Upper Room Discourse." Notice Jesus does not say there might be a guest room, but without hesitation He says Peter and John will be shown the room for their Passover meal. So again we see that God is sovereign and in total control of the details. Jesus was not concerned that they might not be able to find a room to meet. He had full faith in His Father's provision. 

I may eat the Passover (pascha) with My disciples (mathetes) - This was the last meal Jesus would eat on earth and was more than the usual Passover meal, for during the meal Jesus would reveal that He was the Passover Lamb. Note that although this is a Thursday night it is very clear that Jesus ate a meal that Luke refers to as the Passover (Lk 22:7, 8, 11, 12, cf Mk 14:12, 14, 16). This is important to keep in mind because of the fact that Jesus died the next day as the Passover Lamb. The question of how this could be resolved was dealt with above in a discussion of the Chronology. (See also discussion in MacArthur's sermon - scroll to bottom half)

Spurgeon - Observe in this passage an amazing blending of the human and the divine! No mention is made of either as a matter of doctrine, but incidentally our Lord’s divinity and humanity are most fully taught. Here is Christ so poor that he has no room in which to celebrate the most necessary feast of his religion. He has made himself of no reputation, and he has no chamber he can call his own. Yet see the Godhead in him! He sends his messengers to a certain house and tells them to say to the good man of the house, “Where is the guest room?” It all turns out just as he said it would be, and he is welcomed to this man’s best room. Jesus speaks here as did his Father when he said to Israel in ancient times, “Every animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Ps 50:10). All the guest chambers in Jerusalem were at Christ’s disposal. He had but to ask for them, and there they were—all ready for him. Here we see the majesty of his deity, but we also see the humility of his humanity. (Luke 22 Exposition)

James M Boice - Not long ago a friend sent me a card with a picture of a small boy wearing a straw hat and floating on an inner tube on a tranquil country pond. His head was thrown back. He was in perfect peace. The caption read: "Each life needs its own quiet place." The verses we come to next in Matthew 26 (AND HERE IN LUKE) are like that. They are a quiet place at the center of the storm that is about to break. The rulers of the people are plotting how they might take Jesus' life. Judas has offered to betray Jesus to them at the earliest possible opportunity. Evil is afoot. But while it is gathering, Jesus collects his disciples for one final time of fellowship and teaching before the crucifixion. (An Expositional Commentary)

Related Resource:

Luke 22:12   "And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there."

KJV Luke 22:12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.


Parallel Passages

Matthew - There is no parallel description. 

Mark 14:15+ “And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” 

And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there - Notice that Jesus does not divulge location but only that the disciples would be led by this nameless man (presumably a disciple) to the unnamed location. 

Barclay on upper room - The better class houses had two rooms. The one room was on the top of the other; and the house looked exactly like a small box placed on top of a large one. The upper room was reached by an outside stair. During the Passover time all lodging in Jerusalem was free. The only pay a host might receive for letting lodgings to the pilgrims was the skin of the lamb which was eaten at the feast (ED: ANOTHER SOURCE SAYS THEY WOULD ALSO GIVE THE HOST THE VESSELS USED IN THE MEAL). A very usual use of an upper room was that it was the place where a Rabbi met with his favourite disciples to talk things over with them and to open his heart to them. Jesus had taken steps to procure such a room.

A T Robertson on upper room -  Anything above ground (gē), and particularly upstairs as here. Here and in Mk 14:15. Example in Xenophon. Jesus wishes to observe this last feast with his disciples alone, not with others as was often done. Evidently this friend of Jesus was a man who would understand.

Furnished upper room - The typical furnishing would have included a low table (or a couch called a triclinium) and pillows (and possibly carpets) on which to recline. 

Furnished (4766)(stronnuo) means literally to spread (e.g., “to spread the clothes over a bed,” Liddell-Scott). Here it describes a room arranged in a suitable manner for a Seder (Passover) which Marvin Vincent says would be "Strewn with carpets, and with couches properly spread." Stronnuo is used twice in the context of Jesus' "Triumphal Entry" when "Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road." (Mt 21:8, cf Mk 11:8). 

Gilbrant says stronnuo in Pr 15:19 "is used figuratively to describe how “the way of the righteous is made plain” (spread smooth), while “the way of the slothful man is as a hedge of thorns.”

Stronnuo - 6x in 5v - furnished(2), make...bed(1), spread(2), spreading(1). Matt. 21:8; Mk. 11:8; Mk. 14:15; Lk. 22:12; Acts 9:34

Stronnuo - 7v in the Septuagint - Est. 4:3; Job 17:13; Prov. 7:16; Prov. 15:19; Isa. 14:11; Ezek. 23:41; Ezek. 28:7

Prepare (aorist imperative = Don't delay!) it there - This is the third of four uses of  "prepare" (hetoimazo) in this chapter (Lk 22:8, 9, 12, 13)

NET Note explains that the preparation "required getting a suitable lamb...The Passover lamb was roasted and eaten after sunset in a family group of at least ten people (m. Pesahim 7.13). People ate the meal while reclining. It included, besides the lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs as a reminder of Israel's bitter affliction at the hands of the Egyptians. Four cups of wine mixed with water were also used for the meal. For a further description of the meal and the significance of the wine cups, s

Luke 22:13   And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

KJV Luke 22:13  And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

Parallel Passages

Matthew 26:19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed (suntasso = means to place in order together and hence functioned as a command or order, cf Mt 21:6) them; and they prepared the Passover.

Mark 14:16+ The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 


And they left and found everything just as He had told them - Matthew 26:19 emphasizes their unhesitating obedience, doing just "as Jesus had directed them." Nothing was left to chance. All was organized and orderly. As an aside, the word "Seder" in Hebrew means order or sequence. Everything was found just as Jesus had told them. And just as true as that was then, all that He has told His followers will prove truth in the future. 

And they prepared (hetoimazothe Passover (pascha) - The prepared everything necessary to celebrate the Passover Seder. They obeyed without hesitation. There is no record that Peter and John ever returned to the place where Jesus was staying with the other disciples. Had they returned Judas surely would have pried the "secret location" from Peter and John (who had no reason to suspect him as a traitor) and Judas could have informed the authorities and jeopardized the Passover meal with Jesus.

Prepared (2090)(hetoimazo) is the fourth of four uses (Lk 22:8, 9, 12, 13). 

Luke 22:14   When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.

KJV Luke 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.


Painting Based on DaVinci's "Last Supper"

Parallel passages:

Matthew 26:20  Now when evening (SUNDOWN WOULD MARK OFFICIAL BEGINNING OF PASSOVER) came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.”

Mark 14:17+ When it was evening He came with the twelve. 18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me–one who is eating with Me.”

Notice that the painting based on Da Vinci's original "Last Supper" is not Biblically accurate - Jesus and the disciples were not seated at a table but reclining on their left side with right hand free to take the items off of the low table. Note also the light in the windows behind Jesus which is also incorrect for the Passover was to be eaten after the sunset. The point of course is to not get your theology from even the most beautiful paintings in the world but from the Word of God.

When the hour had come - The hour refers to the evening hour as specified in the other synoptic accounts ("when evening came" - Mt 26:20; "when it was evening" - Mk 14:17+) for Passover officially began in the evening.  Now on the year Jesus died (most favor 30 AD but some like John MacArthur favor 33 AD - see note at end of this paragraph), the 14th of Nisan fell on a Friday. How do we know it was a Friday? Mk 15:42 says "When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath." In other words the day before the Sabbath was referred to by the Jews as "the day of preparation," because it was the day they would normally make preparations for their Sabbath in which they could do no work (including preparation of meals which had to be pre-prepared.) In fact, another name the Jews had for Friday was "the day of preparation." And since Mark 15 describes the day when all the "preparations" were being made by the religious leaders for Jesus' death, we know with absolute certainty that Jesus was killed (sacrificed) as the Passover Lamb on Friday, the 14th of Nisan, just as specified in the law of God (Ex 12:2 = "the first month" = Canaanite name of Abib as in Ex 13:4 later called by the Babylonian name Nisan as in Neh 2:1, Esther 3:7 the only 2 uses of Nisan in the OT). Jn 19:14 describes Jesus before Pilate, John recording "Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So John substantiates that in this particular year, the day of preparation was also the day of the Passover.  We see later in John more support for the day of the Passover being a Friday, John writing "Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day) (ED: THE SABBATH WOULD BEGIN AT SUNSET = Lev 23:32 "from evening until evening"), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." (Jn 19:31 - Mishnah Pesachim 7 says "One who breaks a bone of a pure Pesach sacrifice, behold he is lashed forty [lashes]") One additional note - The 14th of Nisan fell on a Friday in the year 30 AD and the year 33 AD, the two years in which Jesus could have died on a Friday Passover. For more on this subject see "In What Year Did Jesus Die?"

In John 2:4 Jesus told His mother "My hour has not yet come." In Jn 7:6,8 He said "My time is not yet at hand...I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come." (cf "His hour" in Jn 7:30 and Jn 8:20). In Luke 13:33+ Jesus declared “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem." In John 12:23 Jesus declared “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." (cf  "This hour" = John 12:27; "knowing that His hour had come" = Jn 13:1; "an hour is coming" = Jn 16:32; "Father the hour has come; glorify Your Son" = Jn 17:1). As Morris says "The hour was the hour of Jesus’ departure from this world to return to the Father through his death, resurrection and exaltation."  And while Luke does not describe the scene, John does describe the soon to die Servant's act of washing the disciple's feet prior to partaking of the Passover/Last Supper (John 13:3-5).

God is El Elyon, the Most High God and as such He is sovereign over EVERYTHING, including time. God Who is timeless and eternal controls all time. He will not let His enemies act to bring critical moments of history before they fit His sovereign plan of redemption. Men did not control Jesus even when they arrested Him. They could do so only in God's time. This aspect of God's sovereignty should humble us all but to many it is the ultimate challenge to their "individual" rights. Thus they are hostile to this great attribute of God which has brought comfort to thousands of saints over the ages. In the present context Luke affirms that finally the time had arrived and Jesus was to be presented as the sacrificial Lamb of God at the Passover celebration. 

Reclining At the Last Supper

He reclined at the table - While not as famous as Da Vinci, the picture above is more accurate showing the disciples reclining on their left elbow with their heads near the low table and feet farthest away. This is likely what the scene looked like at this last Passover, which would soon become the Last Supper. See related discussion of a triclinium, including a picture of the style of dining table used in ancient Rome. This posture was practiced in the Passover meal by the Jews to symbolize that they were now a free people. It was also the posture at other special meals (cf Lk 11:37, Lk 14:10, Lk 17:7). The fact that they reclined indicates that this is a long meal, quite different then the original Passover celebration which was eaten in haste as the Jews prepared to flee Egypt. As discussed below the traditional Passover Seder had several stages. 

None of the Gospel writers describe Jesus' trek into the city to celebrate the Passover. What is notable is that Jesus and the disciples were able to enter the city and travel to the upper room without being noticed (at least nothing recorded in Scripture)! Was this made possible supernaturally? Keep in mind His  triumphal entry was in front of thousands and He had been teaching daily in the Temple (Lk 19:47-48+). How could Jesus possibly walk through the city without being recognized and causing considerable commotion? This is one of the many questions that will not be answered until we are with Him!

In the first Passover meal God gave Israel instructions ‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste–it is the LORD’S Passover." (Ex 12:11+) So even though this was Jesus' last Passover meal, it would be a time to be savored with His twelve disciples, for it was also "the Lord's Passover." 

MacArthur adds that "through the years, the feast had developed the custom of being a rather lengthy affair, and since they were no longer going to be hurrying out of Egypt as with the first Passover, the custom was adopted that they would recline as they did at many feasts when the eating was leisurely.  And so, we find Jesus adapting Himself to that custom and having no problem with that.  He is reclining then with the twelve." (Sermon)

And the apostles with Him - Luke 22:14KJV has "twelve apostles" as in Mt 26:20 which has "the twelve disciples" and Mk 14:17 "the twelve." Judas Iscariot was of the number of the twelve. One reason the number has some importance is the fact that one Passover lamb was to serve a company of not less than ten nor more then twenty persons, so 12 is "kosher" so to speak.

Apostles (652)(apostolos from apo = from + stello = send forth) (Click discussion of apostle) means one sent forth from by another, often with a special commission to represent another and to accomplish his work. 

Apostolos referred to someone who was officially commissioned to a position or task, such as an envoy. Cargo ships were sometimes called apostolic, because they were dispatched with a specific shipment for a specific destination. In secular Greek apostolos was used of an admiral of a fleet sent out by the king on special assignment.

Matthew and Mark only use apostle one time each (Mt 10:2, Mk 6:30) but Luke has 35 uses, most in the book of Acts: Lk. 6:13; Lk. 9:10; Lk. 11:49; Lk. 17:5; Lk. 22:14; Lk. 24:10; Jn. 13:16; Acts 1:2; Acts 1:26; Acts 2:37; Acts 2:42; Acts 2:43; Acts 4:33; Acts 4:35; Acts 4:36; Acts 4:37; Acts 5:2; Acts 5:12; Acts 5:18; Acts 5:29; Acts 5:40; Acts 6:6; Acts 8:1; Acts 8:14; Acts 8:18; Acts 9:27; Acts 11:1; Acts 14:4; Acts 14:14; Acts 15:2; Acts 15:4; Acts 15:6; Acts 15:22; Acts 15:23; Acts 16:4; 



After Sundown

Last Supper
Prayer in Garden
Betrayal and arrest



Hearing before Annas
Trial before Caiaphas
Peter's denial


Early Morning

Sanhedrin completes Deliberations
Jesus Sent to Pilate
Hearing Before Pilate
Jesus Sent to Herod
Return to Pilate

Late Morning/Noon

Jesus Nailed to Cross


Jesus Dies

Near Sundown

Jesus Buried

Luke 22:15   And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;

KJV Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

NLT  Luke 22:15 Jesus said, "I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.

Related Passages:  Note that the institution of the Lord’s Supper has been handed down to us in four forms, here in Lk 22:15-20 and the three references below:

Mark 14:22-25+ While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 “Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 

Matthew 26:26-29 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29“But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 

1 Cor 11:23-25+ - For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”


I have earnestly desired - The literal rendering is "with desire I did desire to eat this Passover with you." Jesus couples the noun epithumia (desire) with the verb epithumeo (to desire), to emphasize the depth of His desire. The Hebrew language would double up words to emphasize a point as in Psalm 1:1 which is literally "Blessed, blessed" to emphasize the greatness of the blessing of obedience. Here "with desire I desire" emphasizes the divine imperative that Jesus eat this last Passover and to do so with His disciples. It also expresses Jesus' strong desire for a time of intimate fellowship (to share a meal was regarded as a time of shared fellowship). And these would have been His last words before He died and He longed to communicate these words (read John 13-16) to those who had followed Him and who would take up His baton when the Holy Spirit had come upon them (Lk 24:49+, Acts 1:8+). 

William MacDonald has an interesting devotional thought commenting that Jesus' "revealing words ("with desire I desire") invite all believers of every time and place to consider how passionately Jesus longs for communion with us at His table." (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

MacArthur comments that "In a few hours He would go from eating a sacrificial lamb to dying as the one true Lamb of God to validate the New Covenant. His whole life He had anticipated this hour, surely with increasing emotion.  (See Luke Commentary)

In another note MacArthur adds "In God's redemptive plan it was necessary for Jesus to keep the Passover with His disciples. It would be His last opportunity to teach them (see John 13-17) and to have intimate fellowship with them. But more importantly even than that, it would be the time of His transforming the Passover supper of the Old Covenant, marked by the shedding of lambs' blood, into the Lord's Supper of the New Covenant, which would be marked by the shedding of His own blood (Luke 22:20)." (See Matthew Commentary)

One is reminded of an earlier statement by Jesus “But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!" (Lk 12:50+).

Jesus' desire to eat the Passover demonstrates that He was an observant Jew to the very end, as He had explained to John who hesitated to baptize Him, He had come to fulfill all righteousness. (Mt 3:15) and here is observing the Passover for one element of the law of God was to keep the Passover. We see a similar declaration in  Mt 5:17+ "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill." Jesus was about to fulfill the "Antitype" of the first Passover lamb sacrificed in Egypt. 

Desired (1937)(epithumeo from epí = upon, used intensively + thumós = passion) means literally to fix the desire upon (object could be good as in this passage or bad [1Co 10:6]). The idea is that of a strong desire to do something. Luke to uses epithumeo to describe the prodigal son who "was longing (epithumeo) to fill his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating." (Lk 15:15-16+) and the desire of the poor man Lazarus who was "longing (epithumeo) to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table." (Lk 16:21+). Peter uses this verb to describe the "things (God's plan of redemption) into which angels long (epithumeo in present tense = continually long) to look." (1 Peter 1:12+). These other uses give you a sense of the "intensity" conveyed by the verb epithumeo. And then you add to that intensity the fact that Jesus in a sense "doubles" the degree of intensity, you begin to get at least of suggestion of the deep emotion Jesus expressed with these words. Jesus' deep desire reminds us of a similar degree of pathos He expressed in Lk 13:34+ "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted (thelo = desire that comes from one’s emotions) to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!" (cf Mt 23:37). 

Barclay's paraphrase of earnestly desired conveys the sense of Jesus' feelings - "I have desired with all my heart."

Albert Barnes suggests three reasons for Jesus' earnest desire to eat the Passover: (1) That, as he was about to leave them, he was desirous once of seeing them together, and of partaking with them of one of the religious privileges of the Jewish dispensation. Jesus was man as well as God, and he never undervalued the religious rites of his country, or the blessings of social and religious intercourse; and there is no impropriety in supposing that even he might feel that his human nature might be prepared by the service of religion for his great and terrible sufferings. (2)  He doubtless wished to take an opportunity to prepare them for his sufferings, and to impress upon them more fully the certainty that he was about to leave them, that they might be prepared for it. (3) We may also suppose that he particularly desired it that he might institute for their use, and for the edification of all Christians, the supper which is called by his name-the Lord's Supper. All his sufferings were the expression of love to his people, and he was desirous of testifying always his regard for their comfort and welfare. (Barnes Notes on the NT)

William Hendriksen - Not only "to eat this Passover," but to do so "with you." Does not this remind us of John 13:1, "having loved his own, he loved them to the uttermost"? Jesus knew what his death, within a matter of hours, would do for them (taken as a group), and of course for millions of others also. He loved them with a love inexpressible in words. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

Life Application Commentary -  Jesus "eagerly desired" to share the Passover meal with His closest friends, the disciples; at the same time Jesus looked forward to its ultimate fulfillment at His return. Believers today live an in-between life as followers of Christ. They already experience the peace, forgiveness, and satisfaction, that come from knowing Jesus. Yet they also long for the consummation of their faith, that day when believers will be perfected and completed in His presence (ED: Cf Ro 8:23-25+). Do you sometimes feel that tension? If so, don't worry. It is the normal experience of God's people awaiting the return of Christ. 

David Guzik - This was a passionate moment for Jesus. It wasn’t so much that He was saying goodbye to His disciples, as much as now He arrived at the central reason why He came to man: to institute a new covenant with men, based on His own sacrifice. This was not the beginning of the end; it was the beginning of the beginning. (Enduring Word Bible Commentary – Luke)

Arnold Fruchtenbaum - Jesus has come to the upper room to share the Passover with the apostles, and it is just after sunset on the evening of Passover. He makes a statement about this which is easy to overlook, but is a very powerful statement of what is about to transpire. Jesus states that He has desired to eat THIS Passover with His apostles before He is to suffer. This Passover is the fulfillment of Passover. (Life of Messiah)

John MacArthur reminds us of the real meaning of Passover - The message of Passover is that God delivers through the judgment of sin by the death of an innocent substitute. All the Old Testament sacrifices were symbols of that reality. But those animal sacrifices were not, in themselves, sufficient substitutes, or such offerings would have ceased (Heb 10:1-2+). No person has ever been delivered from divine judgment by the death of an animal (Heb. 10:4+). Through the centuries, the people of Israel waited for the sacrifice that would be satisfactory to God, the one to which all the countless animal sacrifices had pointed. That long-awaited sacrifice would be offered the next day, Friday, while countless thousands of lambs were again being sacrificed on the Passover. At that very time, God offered His sacrifice. He poured out His wrath against sinners on an innocent substitute—the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus was the perfect, final, and complete sacrifice for sin, making this the last Passover approved by God. Symbolic animal sacrifices pointing to the true sacrifice were no longer necessary once the Savior had been offered. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Warren Wiersbe feels that early in the midst of the Passover "He arose, girded Himself with a towel, and washed the disciples' feet, including Judas' (John 13:1-20). Later that evening, the Twelve would argue over which of them was the greatest, so this lesson on humility and service did not penetrate their hearts. Perhaps Peter had this scene in mind when years later he admonished his readers to "be clothed with humility" (1 Peter 5:5; and see Phil. 2:1-11). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

To eat this Passover (pascha) with you before I suffer - When Jesus said I suffer it meant to feel keenly incomprehensible pain and distress of His body and mind, physically and mentally.  Jesus knew that was coming in the next few hours and with the words "I suffer" speaks of the unfair trials and unwarranted physical affliction of Jesus which would reach their pinnacle in His suffering on the Cross, a depth of suffering far beyond our finite comprehension, especially His agonizing cry "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Mt 27:46)

Suffer (3958)(pascho) means essentially what happens to a person and thus speaks of an experience, sometimes good (Gal 3:4) but most often in a bad sense, thus to suffer, to endure or to undergo. In this case the Perfect Person with an ability to experience things in a way we cannot even comprehend, makes His suffering unique.


Seder Plate

Some Christians do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate a Passover Seder because they say that this feast was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified and the Old Covenant was superseded by the New Covenant. While this is certainly true, it behooves Christians to at least be familiar with the Passover Seder because many of their Jewish friends still celebrate it each year. And if you are invited by a Jewish friend to celebrate Passover with them, there is nothing inherently heretical about accepting their invitation. I am reminded of Paul's words "I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the Gospel." (1 Cor 9:22-23). So the following notes summarize what might transpire today at a typical Jewish Passover feast. (See also Should Christians celebrate Passover? - this article is a good summary of my thoughts on this question)

The Passover Seder begins after nightfall and according to the Mishnah must be completed before midnight. There are 4 cups of wine in the Passover Seder and each cup had a name (see note). The first two cups were drunk before dinner but in the Gospels we find a description of only the first and third cups. The Seder plate (depicted above) had six slots for six items on the plate which are described as follows (there is some repetition in the description of the steps of the actual Passover Seder which follows this list):

  • Maror:  Bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt. For maror, many people use freshly grated horseradish or whole horseradish root.
  • Chazeret is typically romaine lettuce, whose roots are bitter-tasting. In addition to horseradish and romaine lettuce, other forms of bitter lettuce, such as endive, may be eaten in fulfillment of the mitzvah, as well as green onions, dandelion greens, celery leaves, or curly parsley (but parsley and celery are more commonly used as the karpas or vegetable element). Much depends upon whether one's tradition is Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Mizrahi, Persian, or one of the many other Jewish ethno-cultural traditions. In the Passover Seder (see below), a piece of unleavened bread was dipped into this  mixture. 
  • Charoset: A sweet, brown, pebbly paste of fruits and nuts, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt (Ex 1:14). The actual recipe depends partly on ethno-cultural tradition and partly on locally available agreements. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, traditionally make apple-raisin based charoset while Sephardic Jews often make date-based recipes that might feature orange or/and lemon, or even banana. 
  • Karpas: Usually parsley which is dipped into salt water (Ashkenazi custom), vinegar (Sephardi custom), or charoset (older custom, still common amongst Yemenite Jews) at the beginning of the Seder.
  • Zeroa: Zeroa is a roasted lamb bone, symbolizing the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice), the lamb which had to be offered by the priests in the Temple in Jerusalem from 3 PM until 5 PM on Passover and which was then skinned and taken by the family to be roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night with usually about 10 people in attendance (Mishnah Pesachim 7.13). When God allowed the Temple to be destroyed in 70 AD, He put an end the ability of the Jews to sacrifice a lamb for the Passover celebration. God was in essence saying there is no longer need for the blood of a sacrificial animal for as the writer of Hebrews says "we have been sanctified (set apart, made holy) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Heb 10:10). And so the bone of a lamb serves today as a symbol pointing to the true Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29). So the day that Yeshua was sacrificed marked the fulfillment of the first and all subsequent Passover feasts the Jews had performed for almost 1500 years. To say it another way, this was the last true Passover feast, for the Lamb of God had been sacrificed. While Jewish families continued to celebrate the Passover over the last 2000 years, it was as a tradition. And thus some evangelical writers feel that it is no longer appropriate to celebrate the Passover. I personally think that there is no clear Scripture prohibiting a believer from celebrating it, with the understanding that it has indeed been fulfilled by Jesus on Calvary. I personally have celebrated the Passover with my Jewish friends in the hope that God might open a door to explain some of the incredible symbolism of what they are celebrating. (See Should Christians celebrate Passover?)
  • Beitzah: A roasted egg – usually a hard-boiled egg that has been roasted in a baking pan with a little oil, or with a lamb shank – symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and was then eaten as part of the meal on Seder night. Some chose not to use the egg because of pagan connotations.

The Passover Seder - Seder is Hebrew word for “set order” or "sequence" and thus describes the "order of service" for the Passover celebration. The Passover celebration in Hebrew is called the Pesach

The Passover Seder and the ceremonies which accompany date from sometime in the inter-testamental period and thus presumably Jesus would have followed a similar order as in a typical Jewish Seder. In Jewish homes today the order is written in the Haggadah (Wikipedia) (click to read another version). Jesus did not read from a Haggadah because according to Jewish tradition, the Haggadah was compiled during the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods (AFTER the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD), although the exact date is unknown. Haggadah means “the telling or recounting” The Torah, Exodus 13:8, “You shall tell (transliterated = "wehiggadta") your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’”  The Jewish parents were to teach their children the reasons for the Passover Seder which was a binding law forever and served to remind the nation of its duties to Yahweh in gratitude for His great deliverance from slavery.

"Each item has its place in a 15-step choreographed combination of tastes, sounds, sensations and smells that have been with the Jewish people for millennia." (Ref)

The following is only a summary of the Passover Seder as recorded in the Haggadah (see Wikipedia or another version for details).

Before the Seder there would be a searching for Leaven which was symbolic of sin (Bedikat Chametz). Also before the Seder began, a woman lit special candles to mark the commencement of this sacred time (Birkat ha-ner = Lighting of the Festival Candles). Immediately after this, the head of the table raised the first cup of wine—the cup of sanctification—and blessed it. Only lamb, matzah, and bitter herbs are commanded by the Torah to be eaten for Passover, but the other foods have been part of the Passover tradition for centuries and help in recounting the story.

(1) Kadeish-Kiddush  (blessings and the first cup of wine). Kadeish is the Hebrew imperative form of Kiddush. The first cup of wine is poured and the Kiddush is recited.

Comment: The first cup of wine, the Cup of Thanksgiving, is drunk while reclining on one's left side as a sign of freedom. The Kiddush is traditionally said by the father of the house, but all Seder participants participate by reciting the Kiddush and drinking at least a majority of a cup of wine.

NT Parallel: Luke 22:17-18 we see Jesus celebrating the first cup of wine - "And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”'

Kevin Williams - explains the four cups of wine - During a typical Passover Seder, four cups are shared, each with its own significant picture in the ritual. The first cup is called the “cup of sanctification,” which sets the feast apart from any commonplace meal. The second cup is the “cup of plagues,” remembering the calamities visited upon the Egyptians. The third cup is called the “cup of redemption,” recognizing and memorializing the Hebrews’ release from captivity. The fourth cup is called the “cup of praise,” during which the family recites Psalms 113–118, traditionally considered the praise Psalms. Our attention here is on the third cup, the “cup of redemption,” the “Kiddush  cup,” which in the modern Seder comes after the eating of the afikomen. Because of the ritualistic order of the meal and the rich significance of this observance, some Christian theologians believe that this is the cup Jesus lifted, blessed, and declared, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” A cup of red wine is symbolic of blood in Jewish tradition, which is significant in our story. In the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) and throughout the ancient world, covenants were sealed and confirmed with blood. This is no less true in the Gospels. Symbolically with the cup and literally through His blood shed at the crucifixion, the Messiah proclaimed the beginnings of a new covenant predicted by the Jewish prophet Jeremiah:

Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” says the Lord. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord: “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:31-34+). 

Obviously, this New Covenant has not yet reached its complete fulfillment. Many thousands of Jews and millions of Gentiles have come to faith in Jesus, and God remembers their sins no more. Yet not all of the house of Israel or the house of Judah have taken this step of faith. Those who believe in Jesus as Messiah believe that each time we share in the cup of Communion, we share in the Passover cup of the New Covenant. With this symbol of our redemption, we remember not only the death of Christ but also the blood that has sealed the New Covenant, for “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

There are 4 cups in the Passover Seder to remind them of the covenant of God in Exodus 6:6-7 where God makes multiple "I WILL" promises to the Israelites. "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people'" So the four cups symbolized Jehovah's promises to Israel and were given names as described below. The Gospel descriptions of the last official, divinely sanctioned Passover Seder celebrated by Jesus and His disciples mention only the first and the third cups of wine. 

  1. The Cup of Sanctification - "I will bring you" (Ex 6:6)
  2. The Cup of Plagues (Deliverance) - "I will deliver you from bondage" (Ex 6:6)
  3. The Cup of Redemption - "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments."  (Ex 6:6) This looks back to God's redemption of Israel. Jews who have not yet believed in Jesus believe this cup looks forward to the coming of the Messiah (having missed His first coming to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God). 
  4. The Cup of Praise (Cup of Acceptance) - " I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." (Ex 6:7)

(2) Ur'chatz - Hands are washed in preparation for picking up the vegetable or karpas. There is usually no blessing recited over the washing of hands before the vegetable is dipped (#3).

NT Parallel: John 13:1-17 records Jesus washing not just His hands, but the feet of the 12 disciples. One cannot be certain that this event occurred at this time in the Last Supper, but it is a reasonable assumption that it was at the beginning of the meal. It is also notable that in this section on foot washing Jesus had alluded to Judas when he declared in John 13:10 "you are clean but not all of you." (Judas must have understood and if so, it was God graciously giving him another opportunity to repent).

(3) Karpas - Parsley (or lettuce) is dipped into salt water or vinegar. The salt water was a reminder of the tears the Israelites shed during their bondage in Egypt which the green parsley was a reminder of a new beginning.

(4) Yachatz - This step involves the breaking the Middle Matzah. This step is where the ritual is very intriguing for those who have believed upon Messiah as their Resurrected Redeemer. Three matzot are stacked on the Seder table and the middle matzah is broken in half. The larger piece is of matzah is hidden, to be used later as what is called the afikoman (afikomen), the "dessert" after the meal. The smaller piece is returned to its place between the other two matzot.

Kevin Williams on Afikomen - One element of mystery is found in a Passover tradition involving the “afikomen.”  On every Passover table there is a cloth bag called a “matzah  tosh.” The bag is either square or round and lies flat on the table. Within the matzah tosh are three pieces of matzah bread, each separated in its own pocket (Ed: Which the rabbis say represents unity). In this way they are hidden from view, but the celebrants know they are there. During the Seder, the middle matzah is removed from its place, broken in half, and one portion is wrapped in a linen cloth (cf Jn 19:40). This wrapped piece of matzah is called the “afikomen.” Afikomen is not a Hebrew word, but a Greek word that means “the coming one.” (ED: OR "THAT WHICH COMES AFTER" OR "DESSERT.") The afikomen is removed from the table and hidden. Later in the meal, it becomes a children’s game to search for the hidden afikomen. The child who finds it brings it back to the table where “Papa” must ransom it back. Once it is paid for, the afikomen is unwrapped and shared by all as the last food eaten so its flavor will stay on the tongue and its memory stay in the mind the rest of the evening. The rabbis cannot agree on the significance of this unusual observance, or its origins. Some believe the three pieces of matzah in the matzah tosh represent three crowns of learning. Others believe it represents the three patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Still others believe it symbolizes the three types of people in Israel: the priests, the Levites, and the commoners. Yet through the eyes of the Gospels we see another explanation. Jewish and Gentile people who believe in Jesus have often seen in the afikomen a striking picture of the triunity of Deity. In the three folds of the matzah tosh there is a picture of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That the middle matzah—represented by the Son, our Messiah—is broken, wrapped in linen, hidden, and ransomed (the price paid), and then brought back for the family to accept and enjoy seems too deliberate to easily dismiss. While the symbolism of this ritual remains a mystery to those who have not accepted Jesus, through messianic eyes the meaning seems clear and powerful. (The Holidays Of God: The Spring Feasts).

More on the Afikoman - Based on the Mishnah in Pesahim 119b, the afikoman is a substitute for the Passover sacrifice, which was the last thing eaten at the Passover Seder during the eras of the First and Second Temples and during the period of the Tabernacle. The Talmud states that it is forbidden to have any other food after the afikoman, so that the taste of the matzo that was eaten after the meal remains in the participants' mouths. Since the destruction of the Temple and the discontinuation of the Korban Pesach, Jews eat a piece of matzo now known as afikomen to finish the Passover Seder meal. After the meal and customary desserts, the leader of the Seder distributes pieces of the afikoman to each guest.

When the rabbis are asked why take the second piece and not the first or the third, their answer is that they do not know.

From Passover (Christian) - The matzoh is (1) unleavened, (2) pierced and (3) striped, just as Jesus' sinless body (cf unleavened = picture of absence of sin) had stripes from the scourging with a whip (Isaiah 53:5KJV = "with His stripes we are healed"), and pierced by the thorns  and the spear (cf Isaiah 53:5+ = "He was pierced through for our transgressions"). The middle matzoh held aloft, was broken, the larger portion wrapped, hidden in a linen napkin and later redeemed. This certainly appears to represent Jesus, Who likely used the matzah when he said "This is my body which is for you." (1 Corinthians 11:24)

Comment on Matzah - As noted above, after the destruction of the Temple, Jewish people had to remember Passover in a different way. Without the Temple, there could be no lamb sacrifice. (If the Jewish people do not offer animal sacrifices, how do they believe they can receive forgiveness from God?) The Law said the sacrifice could be made only by qualified priests serving at the altar and place of God’s choosing. As a result, for nearly 2,000 years lamb  has not been served in Jewish homes during the Passover meal. Instead, the rabbis and sages declared that unleavened bread, “matzah” bread, would be the appropriate substitute. Eating the matzah would be equal to eating the lamb. Of course, one can see the obvious parallel with the Last Supper of Jesus as Luke 22:19 records "And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Paul took this last Passover meal and shows us how it became the Christian's communion writing "as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death (looking back) until He comes (looking forward)." (1 Cor 11:26, 24, 25).

(5) Magid  - Retelling the Passover Story. Raise the tray with the matzot and say: This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and conduct the Seder of Passover. This year [we are] here; next year in the land of Israel. This year [we are] slaves; next year [we will be] free people.

(a) Ha Lachma Anya (invitation to the Seder) - The matzot are uncovered, and referred to as the "bread of affliction". Participants declare (in Aramaic) an invitation to all who are hungry or needy to join in the Seder

(b) Mah Nishtanah (The Four Questions) - The Mishna details questions one is obligated to ask on the night of the seder. It is customary for the youngest child present to recite the four questions. 

Why is this night different from all other nights? (Play Maccabeats song).

  1. Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either leavened bread or matza, but on this night we eat only matza?
  2. Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on this night we eat bitter herbs?
  3.  Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip [our food] even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  4. Why is it that on all other nights we dine either sitting upright or reclining, but on this night we all recline?

The leader raises the second cup of wine and invites all to sing the first part of the Hallel, Ps 113:1-9 and Ps 114:1-8. Then everyone drinks the second cup, the cup of plagues also called the cup of d

(6) Rohtzah (Rachtzah)(ritual washing of hands) The ritual hand-washing is repeated for the second time, this time with all customs including a blessing.

(7) Motzi Matzah (blessings over the Matzah) = Two blessings are recited. First one recites the standard blessing before eating bread, which includes the words "who brings forth" (motzi in Hebrew). Then one recites the blessing regarding the commandment to eat Matzah.  An olive-size piece is then eaten while reclining (after dipping it into the "bitter herbs" or maror - #8 below). 

Comment: It may have been at this point that John 13:26-30 may have transpired - "Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night. "

(8) Maror (bitter herbs is from Ex 12:8 and traditionally usually horseradish) - The blessing for the eating of the maror (bitter herbs) is recited and then it is dipped with matzah into the charoset and eaten, sweetening the bitter taste. Bitter Herbs recall the bitterness of slavery.

(9) Koreich (Korech)(sandwich) - The maror (bitter herb) is placed between two small pieces of matzo, similarly to how the contents of a sandwich are placed between two slices of bread, and eaten. This follows the tradition of Hillel, who did the same at his Seder table 2,000 years ago (except that in Hillel's day the Paschal sacrifice, matzo, and maror were eaten together.)

(10) Shulchan Orech (the meal) - Now eat and drink to your heart's delight. It is permitted to drink wine between the second and third cups. The festive meal is eaten. Traditionally it begins with the charred egg on the Seder plate.

(11) Tzafun (eating of the afikoman)  The afikoman, which was hidden earlier in the Seder, is traditionally the last morsel of food eaten by participants in the Seder. Each participant receives an at least olive-sized portion of matzo to be eaten as afikoman. After the consumption of the afikoman, traditionally, no other food may be eaten for the rest of the night. Additionally, no intoxicating beverages may be consumed, with the exception of the remaining two cups of wine. It is to be eaten in the reclining position and this ought to be done before midnight.

(12) Bareich (Berach) (Grace after Meals) - The third cup is poured now, and recite Birkat Hamazon (Blessing after the Meal) over it. The recital of Birkat Hamazon. The Third Cup of Wine is also known as the Cup of redemption. 

Kos shel Eliyahu ha-Navi (cup of Elijah the Prophet at an empty seat at the table) In many traditions, in addition the front door of the house is opened at this point to look for Elijah.

(13( Hallel (praise, songs of praise) - The entire order of Hallel which is usually recited in the synagogue on Jewish holidays is also recited at the Seder table, albeit sitting down. The first two psalms, Ps 113:1-9 and Ps 114:1-8, were recited before the meal. The remaining psalms Ps 115:1-18, Ps 116:1-19, Ps 117:1-2, Ps 118:1-29, are recited at this point. Psalm 136:1-26 (the Great Hallel) is then recited, followed by Nishmat, a portion of the morning service for Shabbat and festivals.

Afterwards the Fourth Cup of Wine, The Cup of Praise (also called Cup of Acceptance)  is drunk and a brief Grace for the "fruit of the vine" is said.

(14) NirtzahPassover songs

(15) The Seder concludes with a prayer that the night's service be accepted.  A hope for the Messiah is expressed: "Next year in Jerusalem!" 

Related Resource:

Luke 22:16   for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."

KJV Luke 22:16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

ESV   For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (Luk 22:16 ESV)


There is no parallel passage in the Synoptic Gospels nor in the Gospel of John.

For I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God" - The key word is "until" which is an expression of time that means something will continue to happen up to a point and then it will not happen. In this context until is used with a negative (never = literally a strong double negative in Greek, ou me, absolutely never) to emphasize the moment in time after which the rest of your statement becomes true. In other words the glorious truth is that in the coming Kingdom of God which Messiah sets up when He returns as Victorious King of kings, all believers will join with Him in celebration of the Passover feast. While this could represent only the marriage supper of the Lamb, some believe it will be a continual feast throughout eternity. We will have to wait and see! (Rev 19:9+ - see note below) (See Marriage of the Lamb) Of course there are commentaries that do not accept a Messianic earthly Kingdom (i.e., amillennialists) but interpret Jesus as speaking of a heavenly kingdom. I sometimes wonder what the amillennialist do with passages like Ezekiel 45:21 which clearly states "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten." Ezekiel 40-48 describes the time of the Millennium thus the Passover will be celebrated in the Millennial Kingdom.

The actual word "again" is not in the Greek text, so the ESV has a more accurate "For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." You may be asking, "Well so what? Does that make any difference in what Jesus is saying?" Some have reasoned that what Jesus is saying is that while He longed to eat it (Lk 22:15), He would not do it at this time. Darrell Bock writes that "This subtle view seems unnecessary, especially since Luke 22:16, 18 suggest that Jesus did eat this meal (Fitzmyer 1985: 1396)." (Baker Exegetical Commentary) In a similar way when we compare Jesus' words about drinking wine in Mt 26:29, He clearly states "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom." The phrase "from now on" surely indicates He did partake of the wine, and it would simply make no sense to suggest He partook of the wine and not the bread at this, His last Passover. 

Robert Stein writes that Jesus' words I shall "is the strongest negation possible in Greek (the subjunctive of emphatic negation) and refers not to abstinence from the present Passover but to the fact that His forthcoming death would prohibit Him from sharing future Passovers with the disciples." (New American Commentary - Luke)

What the Bible teaches - He did not say, "I will not eat", but "I will not ... eat thereof" i.e. of the Passover; for after He had risen, He ate a broiled piece of fish and a piece of honeycomb as powerful evidence to His disciples that He was truly alive (Lk 24:42+). The next time that He will partake of it will be with a redeemed Israel when the kingdom of God is manifested. (What the Bible teaches – Luke)

What is "it" in context? This refers not just to the bread but to the entire event of the Passover meal. 

It is fulfilled (fulfilled) in the kingdom of God - This is a prophecy. When will it be fulfilled? It depends on whether you accept a Millennial Kingdom or not. If you do, then Jesus' prophecy will be fulfilled in His Messianic Kingdom on earth. If you do not accept a Millennium, then it will be fulfilled in the New Earth. I think the Scriptures (when interpreted literally) strongly support a literal earthly Kingdom which Messiah will set up when He returns for His true "Triumphal Entry" (Rev 19:11-21+).

The NET Note explains "Jesus looked to a celebration in the kingdom to come when the Passover is fulfilled. This reference could well suggest that some type of commemorative sacrifice and meal will be celebrated then, as the antecedent is the Passover sacrifice. The reference is not to the Lord's supper as some argue, but the Passover. The kingdom of God here refers to the kingdom in all its power. See Luke 17:20–37+."

On the other hand John MacArthur feels that "Christ's death on the following day fulfilled the symbolism of the Passover meal. Passover was both a memorial of the deliverance from Egypt, and a prophetic type of the sacrifice of Christ." (MacArthur Study Bible)

Martin has an interesting comment - When His kingdom would arrive, the Passover would be fulfilled for God would have brought His people safely into their rest. (See The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Constable writes "He would eat with them again next in the kingdom, specifically at the messianic banquet at the beginning of the kingdom. This announcement probably contributed to the apostles' expectation that the kingdom would begin very soon (cf. Acts 1:6+)."

Stein on the Kingdom of God - This refers to the time of the messianic banquet at the end of history, i.e., when the kingdom is consummated (cf. Mark 14:25; Matt 26:29; 1 Cor 11:26). This same thought is repeated in Luke 22:18+. (Ibid)

Criswell - "Fulfilled in the kingdom of God" recalls that the Passover is not only a memorial meal, but a prophetic one also. Passover points forward to the final deliverance of God's people at the return of Christ, symbolized in a great messianic feast at the end of time."

Steven Cole - Jesus solemnly assures the disciples that He will not eat the Passover meal or drink of the fruit of the vine again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom (Lu 22:16, Lu 22:18). There is debate about whether or not the Passover will again be celebrated in the millennial kingdom. It could refer to the future celebration of Lord’s Supper as the fulfillment of the Passover (Ed: cp Passover in Ezek 45:21 which is in the context of the Millennium). But whatever He meant, Jesus here predicted His resurrection and His coming again in power and glory to establish His Kingdom. I cannot see how Jesus’ present reign in the hearts of believers could be the final fulfillment of His Kingdom. He pointed ahead to the day when His Kingdom will be established on earth. (Luke 22:7-23 Come to the Table) (Bolding added)

Be fulfilled (completed) (4137)(pleroo) literally speaks of the idea of totality, and here signifies that it will be fully accomplished. The verb is in the passive voice, which in the context is the so-called "divine passive" signifying God's power and providence will bring Jesus' promise to perfect fruition, perfectly on time.

Kingdom of God is a major subject in Luke's Gospel - 32x in 31v and 6x in 6v in Acts - see discussion of the Kingdom in Lk 22:30+. References below also have significant discussions on the Kingdom of God.

Lk. 4:43; Lk. 6:20; Lk. 7:28; Lk. 8:1; Lk. 8:10; Lk. 9:2; Lk. 9:11; Lk. 9:27; Lk. 9:60; Lk. 9:62; Lk. 10:9; Lk. 10:11; Lk. 11:20; Lk. 13:18; Lk. 13:20; Lk. 13:28; Lk. 13:29+; Lk. 14:15+; Lk. 16:16; Lk. 17:20+; Lk. 17:21; Lk. 18:16; Lk. 18:17; Lk. 18:24; Lk. 18:25; Lk. 18:29; Lk. 19:11; Lk. 21:31; Lk. 22:16; Lk. 22:18; Lk. 23:51; Acts 1:3+; Acts 8:12; Acts 14:22; Acts 19:8; Acts 28:23; Acts 28:31

Brian Bell - The Passover feast looked back to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The Lord’s Supper looks back to Christ’s death on the cross. The Lord’s Supper looks ahead to His coming again, “until it is fulfilled in the kingdom”. Jesus saw a future fulfillment of the feast when His people would be gathered together in His glorious kingdom.

Here are a few Scriptures which support a literal earthly Kingdom of God (From

1) Christ's feet will actually touch the Mount of Olives prior to the establishment of His kingdom (Zechariah 14:4, 9+);
2) During the kingdom, the Messiah will execute justice and judgment on the earth (Jeremiah 23:5-8);
3) The kingdom is described as being under heaven (Daniel 7:13-14+, Daniel 7:27+);
4) The prophets foretold of dramatic earthly changes during the kingdom (Acts 3:21; Isa 35:1-2+, Isa 11:6-9+, Isa 29:18, 65:20-22; Ezek 47:1-12; Amos 9:11-15)
5) The chronological order of events in Revelation indicates the existence of an earthly kingdom prior to the conclusion of world history (Revelation 20+, esp Rev 20:7-10+).

The amillennial view comes from using one method of interpretation for unfulfilled prophecy and another method for non-prophetic Scripture and fulfilled prophecy. Non-prophetic Scripture and fulfilled prophecy are interpreted literally or normally. But, according to the amillennialist, unfulfilled prophecy is to be interpreted spiritually, or non-literally. Those who hold to amillennialism believe that a “spiritual” reading of unfulfilled prophecy is the normal reading of the texts. This is called using a dual hermeneutic. (Hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation.) The amillennialist assumes that most, or all, unfulfilled prophecy is written in symbolic, figurative, spiritual language. Therefore, the amillennialist will assign different meanings to those parts of Scripture instead of the normal, contextual meanings of those words.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Tony Garland

Revelation 19:9+ Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.”

Since the bride needs no invitation to the marriage supper, (15) those mentioned here are a separate body of saints who are not part of the church, having never been baptized into the body of Christ. They are the saved who died before the Day of Pentecost or who came to faith after the Restrainer was removed in the Rapture of the Church. See Who is the Restrainer?Since the banquet includes the saints of all ages (not just the bride), this also indicates the feast will be held during the Millennial Kingdom. In order for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to participate, it will have to follow their resurrection (Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2+). In order for the Tribulation martyrs to participate, it will also have to follow their resurrection (Rev. 20:4+).

It is with the Marriage Feast that the Millennium will begin, . . . the invitations . . . go out to all the redeemed who are not members of the Church, i.e., the Old Testament and Tribulation saints soon to be resurrected. (16)

It is in the kingdom of God, when the Messianic Kingdom comes on earth, that Jesus will once again eat the Passover:

Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:15-18)

Since the marriage supper consistently is used in reference to Israel on the earth, it may be best to . . . view the marriage of the Lamb as that event in the heavens in which the church is eternally united to Christ and the marriage feast or supper as the millennium, to which Jews and Gentiles will be invited, which takes place on earth, during which time the bridegroom is honored through the display of the bride to all His friends who are assembled there. (17)

Jesus promised those in the church at Laodicea who opened to His knock that he would dine with them and that they would sit with Him on His throne. Since His throne, the throne of David, is taken up during the Millennial Kingdom, the promise likely extends to participation in the marriage supper. See commentary on Revelation 3:20+.Some see the need to include the millennial saints and the mention of the New Jerusalem as the bride of the Lamb as an indication that the feast will be prolonged into the eternal state:

[The marriage feast] cannot transpire on earth in a completed sense until after the Millennium when the rest of the faithful from the thousand-year period combine with the martyrs and other saints to complete the body of the redeemed (Charles). The language of Rev. 21:2, 9+ is quite explicit regarding the bride in the new heaven and the new earth (Lee). The better part of wisdom is to include both the Millennium and the new heaven and the new earth as the prolonged wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride (cf. Rev. 19:9+). It will commence with Christ’s glorious appearance to initiate His kingdom on this present earth. (18)

Luke 22:17   And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves;

KJV Luke 22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

  • And when He had taken a cup and given thanks Ps 23:5; 116:13; Jeremiah 16:7
  • He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; Luke 22:19; 9:16; Deuteronomy 8:10; 1 Samuel 9:13; Romans 14:6; 1 Timothy 4:4,5
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
  • Alfred Edersheim - The Paschal Supper


And when He had taken a cup and given thanks - While not all commentaries agree, most conservative sources consider this to be the first cup of (diluted) wine out of the traditional 4 cups described above (note), probably the "cup of blessing." This cup appears to be unique to Luke's Gospel, for the cup mentioned in Matthew and Mark is clearly the one Jesus designates as "the blood of the covenant." (Mt 26:27-28, Mk 14:23-24)

NET Note - Only Luke mentions two cups at this meal; the other synoptic gospels (Matt 26:27-28, Mark 14:23-24) mention only one. This is the first of the two. It probably refers to the first cup in the traditional Passover meal, which today has four cups (although it is debated whether the fourth cup was used in the 1st century). 

It is notable that the cup in the OT often symbolized the outpouring of God's wrath (e.g., Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17).

W A Criswell comments that "Four cups were actually shared during the Passover meal. Luke mentions two, while Mt. 26:26-29, Mk 14:22-25, and 1 Cor 11:23-26 speak of only one cup, which follows the bread. The other synoptic Gospels and Paul focus attention on only one cup because of its memorial significance. This is probably the "cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10:16) which ties the old and new observances together."

Had...given thanks (also used in Luke 22:19)(2168) (eucharisteo) is a word that at its very core (eu = good + charis = grace) means to acknowledge how good grace is!  This Greek word gives us our English Eucharist

Note that the Lord’s Supper and baptism are the only two "sacraments" that Jesus instituted for the Church (some denominations have added others but they are not prescribed in the Bible) and is also known as “Communion," "Holy Communion,” or “The Eucharist” 

Brian BellGave thanks - Thanksgiving is the expression of Joy God-ward! Believers are encouraged to abound in it! Col.2:6,7 “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

MacArthur - The apostle Paul referred to it in his instructions to the Corinthian church regarding communion (1 Cor. 10:16). The head of the table extolled God for His goodness, mercy, and provision through the years. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Luke)

He said, "Take this and - Jesus issues a loving command which would have been especially piercing to Judas to obey, for he had already determined to betray Jesus. It is interesting that Luke does not repeat Jesus' command to take the bread He had just broken, while Matthew 26:26 and Mark 14:32 both record His command to take it. 

Share it among yourselves - This indicates a common cup and speaks of fellowship and unity, even though we know there was a traitor in the group! As Bock says "This act intensifies the oneness that is central to the meal (1 Cor. 10:16–17)." (Ibid)

Share (1266)(diamerizo from dia = through + merizo = to divide) means literally to divide as when Jesus' garments were divided (described in all 4 Gospels - Mt 27:35, Mk 15:24, Lk 23:34, Jn 19:24), in a figurative sense of a kingdom divided (Lk 17:17, 18+), of families divided by being forced to choose for or against Jesus (Lk 12:53). Diamerizo has the sense of share as in the Last Supper, where the disciples "divided" (shared) the Passover cup paradoxically as a sign of their unity and allegiance to their Lord. Is this not an example of God's amazing grace and mercy, to reach out to even Judas who was soon to betray Jesus! How hardened his heart and seared his conscience must have been to not respond to Jesus' words. It is interesting that this same verb diamerizo is used in Acts 2:3+ on another feast some 50 days later, the Feast of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out and "there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them." This verb is also used by Luke to describe the first "church" in Jerusalem when the Jewish believers "began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need." (Acts 2:45+)

Darrell Bock - It is unclear whether Jesus tasted the wine. The remark in Lk 22:18 (“from now on” Jesus will not taste from the fruit of the vine) implies that something is changing. Jesus did take the previous cup (Lk 22:16), but he will not take a cup after this meal until the kingdom comes. The change comes during the meal, not before it. It seems likely that Jesus took the cups of the meal, at least through the third cup (so Luke 22:16 and Mark 14:25). The Twelve and Jesus are sharing one last moment of celebration, gratitude, and fellowship before the suffering. But the note about sharing the cup again in the kingdom shows that suffering is not the end. It will be followed by victory. (Baker Exegetical Commentary - Luke).

Luke 22:18  for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes."

KJV Luke 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

  • I will not drink Luke 22:16; Mt 26:29; Mark 14:23; 15:23
  • the fruit of the vine Judges 9:13; Ps 104:15; Pr 31:6,7; Song of Solomon 5:1; Isaiah 24:9-11; 25:6; 55:1; Zechariah 9:15,17; Ephesians 5:18,19
  • until the kingdom of God comes Luke 9:27; 21:31; Daniel 2:44; Mt 16:18; Mark 9:1; Acts 2:30-36; Colossians 1:13
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
  • Alfred Edersheim - The Paschal Supper


For I say to you - Same introduction in Lk 22:16, to arrest their attention (and ours).

I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on - The implication is that He drank of it at this time. 

Fruit of the vine - This is a figure of speech for wine.

Until the kingdom of God comes - Until (expressions of time) means up to the point in time and in context the time is His return to establish the Messianic Kingdom on earth. Jesus reiterates the blessed hope that the Kingdom of God is coming! Why would He repeat it? Perhaps because when He was arrested and crucified they would begin to doubt or question whether this would or even could (since He was dead) come to pass. See the related discussion in Lk 22:16.

When the Kingdom of God comes, Jesus will once again drink of the wine of this celebration. Jesus is giving His disciples a sure hope (absolute assurance that God will do good  to them in the future) to help anchor their souls (cf Heb 6:19+) especially as they went through the next 2-3 days of uncertainty and doubt. As David had written centuries before "Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning." (Ps 30:5)

Hendriksen - We should be sure, however, to interpret these words correctly, that is, optimistically. Jesus is not really saying, "This is the end. After tonight we'll never see each other again." What he is saying is rather this, "Though our continued fellowship here is about to end, it will be renewed gloriously in the kingdom to come, a kingdom of light and love, of triumph and praise, and this throughout all eternity." What a fulfilment, what a reunion that will be, when the meaning of this Passover will be experienced in all its fullness. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

IN REMEMBRANCE - In a memorial service, words are spoken or actions taken to pay tribute to the deceased. People may say, "I'm doing this because I know that's the way John would have wanted it." Think how inappropriate it would be for someone to clearly go against the deceased's wishes or principles. When Christians celebrate Communion, they do more than hold a memorial service. The Savior who died is alive and well, and he is present and involved in Communion. How much more, then, should believers want to conduct themselves—actions, attitudes, thoughts, and words—in a manner consistent with the love and compassion of Jesus. The next time you participate in the Lord's Supper, give serious consideration to how you will live "in remembrance of him." - Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke.

Luke 22:19   And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

KJV Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

  • And when He had taken some bread Mt 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; 1 Cor 10:16; 11:23-29
  • given thanks Luke 22:17; 24:30; John 6:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • This is My body Luke 22:20; Genesis 41:26,27; Ezekiel 37:11; Daniel 2:38; 4:22-24; Zechariah 5:7,8; 1 Cor 10:4; Galatians 4:25
  • which is given for you John 6:51; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24
  • do this in remembrance of Me Ps 78:4-6; 111:4; Song of Solomon 1:4; 1 Cor 11:24
  • Edersheim on Passover in Matthew 26:26-28.
  • Alfred Edersheim - The Paschal Supper
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying - Here we see that the Passover passes over into the Lord's Supper. Note that there is no symbolism intended by Jesus breaking the unleavened bread. The Scripture is clear that not a bone of Jesus body was broken (Jn 19:36). The breaking of bread was simply a way it could then be easily distributed to all who were present at the meal. 

Paul repeats this in his description of the ordinance of the Last Supper or Holy Communion in 1 Cor 11:23-24+

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do (present imperative) this in remembrance of Me.”

Comment: Be aware that the KJV has a phrase not present in most modern manuscripts = "this is My body which is broken for you." This is why some communion services might use the phrase "broken for you," rather than the more accurate "for you" which NLT paraphrases as "given for you."  But in the KJV, the phrase is found only in 1 Corinthians 11:24 and is not found in Mt 26:26 nor Mk 14:22, both having only the phrase "Take eat, this is My body." 

Given thanks (2168) (eucharisteo) is a word that at its very core (eu = good + charis = grace) means to acknowledge how good grace is!  

Broke (2806)(klao) break, break off, break in pieces; in the NT used only of the breaking of bread, referring to eating a meal = Paul on the ship to Rome (Acts 27:35). Similarly in Acts 2:46 klao is used as a  metonymy meaning to share a meal, since by Jewish custom the head of household at ordinary family meals would give thanks, broke the bread, and distributed it to those at the table with him. Some interpret Acts 2:46 as a celebration the Lord's Supper with their meals. The first use of klao by Jesus was in feeding the multitudes (Mt 14:19, 15:36, Mk 8:6, 19). Matthew and Mark use klao in context of Jesus' institution of the Lord's Supper (Mt 26:26, Mk 14:22) and Paul's celebration of the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:24). Luke uses klao of the Lord's Supper writing "On the first day of the week (Sunday), when we were gathered together to break bread.... (Acts 20:7,11+). There is one use in the Septuagint in Jer 16:7 of breaking bread, because the custom in Old Testament times was to break bread with the hands rather than cut it with a knife. 

Klao - 14x in 14v - break(2), breaking(3), broke(8), broken(1). Matt. 14:19; Matt. 15:36; Matt. 26:26; Mk. 8:6; Mk. 8:19; Mk. 14:22; Lk. 22:19; Lk. 24:30; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7; Acts 20:11; Acts 27:35; 1 Co. 10:16; 1 Co. 11:24

This is My body - This refers to the piece of broken (unleavened) bread. Jesus was holding and breaking a piece of (matzo/matzah/matza) bread. Is Jesus a piece of bread? Of course not! This is a powerful metaphor, a figure of speech but Jesus never meant it to be interpreted literally. To do so is to discard all rules of Biblical hermeneutics. Jesus is no more a piece of bread than He is a literal door (Jn 10:9) or a literal vine (Jn 15:5). If you have been taught to interpret the bread literally as Jesus' body, you do well to study the concept of a metaphor and ask the Spirit of truth to guide you into all truth (Jn 16:13), truth that He teaches, not "truth" that I or any other human teaches!

It is fascinating (? coincidence) that by rabbinic decree, matzah bread must be striped, pierced, and burned in such a way as to appear bruised (cf Isa 53:5KJV+). Woe! Is this likeness just a random coincidence? Dear believer in Messiah, what do you think?

Related Resources:

Kevin Williams - At a Passover Seder, which later became known by His followers as “the table of Communion,” Jesus held up the elements of wine and matzah and applied them to Himself. During the meal He broke unleavened bread with His disciples, and then held that broken matzah in His hands, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Lk. 22:19). Then after the meal He held up a cup of wine and with the same force of personal application to Himself, said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). They were claims that were outrageous and blasphemous if they were not true. But they were true, and they help to explain why the feast of Passover would go through such a profound transition in the years ahead. For those Jewish people who have not yet believed in Jesus, the broken matzah, or unleavened bread, continues to be a part of the Passover meal; yet it is shrouded in mystery. This mystery, a puzzle on which the Jewish sages cannot reach consensus, need not be a mystery to those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus claimed that He had come to fulfill the meaning of the Passover sacrifice....When Jesus said of the unleavened bread, “Take, eat; this is My body,” He was not instituting an empty ritual. He was identifying Himself personally with both the matzah and the Passover lamb, bringing to mind the words of the prophet Isaiah:  

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:4-7+).  

Which is given for you - This looks forward to Calvary. The bread represents Jesus' body which would be His vicarious gift. It is His body which is given for us. The Greek word for "for" in this verse is huper, which commonly means "in behalf of", "in the place of" or "for the sake of." For example, Paul uses this same preposition huper in Galatians 1:4+ writing about Jesus Christ "Who gave Himself for (huper) our sins so that (purpose clause) He might rescue (deliver) us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." Can you see what Jesus is saying with the phrase "for you?" He is alluding to substitutionary atonement, in essence saying that His sinless body is sacrificed in place of (huper) our sinful body on the Cross. Jesus died once for all time in our place, on our behalf, for our sake, so that we might live forever in Him and for Him! In his famous declaration, Paul says “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR (huper) ME." (Gal 2:20+; cf Jn 10:15 = "My life for [huper] the sheep"). 

And so this verse uses huper to depict substitutionary atonement…

  • Christ “for the sake of" ______ (fill in your name).
  • Christ "in behalf of"_________ (fill in your name).
  • Christ "instead of”_________ (fill in your name).

Paul writes  

(HE IS EXPLAINING THE GOSPEL) For I delivered (paradidomi - same word used for Judas delivering Jesus to the Jewish leaders!) to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for (huper) our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:3+)

He (GOD THE FATHER) made Him (JESUS) Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf (huper), so that (PURPOSE CLAUSE) we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21+)

Peter describes Christ's substitutionary atonement writing that

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross (AS OUR SUBSTITUTE), so that (PURPOSE CLAUSE) we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for (TERM OF EXPLANATION) by His wounds you were healed (SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING).(1 Peter 2:24+)

Hendriksen on in remembrance of Me - Believers should remember his sacrifice and love him, should reflect on that sacrifice and embrace him by faith, and should look forward in living hope to his glorious return. Surely, the proper celebration of communion is a loving remembrance. It is, however, more than that. Jesus Christ is most certainly, and through his Spirit most actively, present at this genuine feast! (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

Do this in remembrance of Me - Jesus gave a command to His disciples to "do this" continually for the verb poieo is in the present imperative which calls for us to celebrate communion frequently not infrequently! Are you as convicted as I am? Of course one potential danger of frequent celebration of communion is that it begins to gravitate into a thoughtless ritual. Have you ever been guilty of reciting the "Lord's (really Disciple's) Prayer" in a rote manner, not even pausing long enough to think about what you are saying (I have certainly been guilty of doing this)? Obviously, we can fall into the same trap with the Lord's Supper. So, yes, celebrate it frequently but make sure you celebrate it fervently

Jesus' point in commanding us to remember is "Lest we forget." That seems unthinkable, but frankly, most of us have "leaky" memories! We are a forgetful people (I am guilty of this) and Jesus knows that is the tendency of our nature and will be until that great day when we are glorified, so He commemorates the Lord's Supper as a "means" to stimulate our memory regarding all He has accomplished for us in dying in our place on the Cross and all that He will accomplish when He returns (cf "until He comes" - 1 Cor 11:26). In Psalm 103:2 David exhorts us to "preach a sermon to our souls" - "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits." While regular celebration of the Lord's Supper obviously is important so that we "forget none of His benefits," we as priests of God (1 Pe 2:9+) can every morning "offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15+) for His benefits that are ours in Christ. So tomorrow morning consider beginning your day by remembering the countless benefits that are yours because of Christ's death on the Cross and His promise to return! You may be surprised at how uplifting such a simple exercise is to your soul and what a difference it makes on the rest of your day!

Hughes adds "Do this in remembrance of me" calls for studied remembrance through the memorial (the bread) of what Christ has done for us.Tragically (though we may think it is impossible), we are in constant danger of forgetting. The memorial of the bread is meant to graciously assault our fickle memories. (Preaching the Word – Luke)

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William MacDonald - The question is often raised whether we should use leavened or unleavened bread, fermented or unfermented wine for the Lord's Supper. There is little doubt that the Lord used unleavened bread and fermented wine (all wine in those days was fermented). Those who argue that leavened bread spoils the type (leaven is a picture of sin) should realize that the same is true of fermentation. It is a tragedy when we become so occupied with the elements that we fail to see the Lord Himself. Paul emphasized that it is the spiritual meaning of the bread, not the bread itself that counts. "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Cor. 5:7, 8). It is not the leaven in the bread that matters, but the leaven in our lives! (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

Brian Bell - Do this in remembrance of me – Remember what?

  • Remember the Lord Jesus – that you might follow Him.
  • Remember His death, its fact, its meaning –so you don’t forget Him during His absence.
  • Remember Him in sickness – that you might have patience.
  • Remember Him in persecution – that you might have gentleness.
  • Remember Him in your service – that you remember His burning zeal in His.
  • Remember Him in times of solitude – as you remember His midnight prayers.
  • Remember to share your faith – as He shared His lion-like declarations of the gospel.
  • Remember Him so He becomes our pattern – that we might be the reproduction of Himself, & thus become the best memorial of Him! (Adapted from “The Best of Spurgeon”)

Remembrance – Normally we celebrate someone’s Birthday not their Death-day! Death-days are often difficult days to remember. Remember what? – That He truly was a Good Man; a Great Savior; a Loving Friend; a Living Hope; & a Coming Lord. How does the Lord’s Supper help us to remember Him? It makes us come to a restful halt in our pilgrimage; It gives us come a graphic picture of salvation; It reminds us of the reassuring promise of His Grace; It remains clear prophecy of the future.  Sacramentum (something sacred) Originally Sacramentum was used for a Roman Soldiers oath of faithfulness on enlistment. 1 Cor.11:27 “as often as you eat this bread & drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes”. By eating the bread & drinking the cup you are proclaiming, or giving your oath of faithfulness. Therefore, it is our confession of loyalty to Him! Broke it, gave it to them – Bread broken – Christ for us; Bread eaten – Christ in us; Bread partaken together – Christ among us. Who should partake?Intended for disciples only – Only disciples can “remember”; for remembrance implies knowledge; & it is only disciples who “know” their Master. Jn.17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Yet, each person must decide that for himself. We will not be excluding anyone from the Lord’s Table. It’s not the Episcopal Table, nor the Baptist Table; nor the Calvary Chapel Table, but the Lord’s Table!  Examine yourself - This isn’t proper English but…“Can you be more-bad then God is good?” [I don’t think so!] You can only sin as a man, but God can forgive as a God! You sin as a finite creature but the Lord forgives as the infinite Creator! Confess your sin to Him! - “For I will forgive their iniquity, & their sin I will remember no more.” Jer.31:34 (Ref)

Norman Geisler -  LUKE 22:19—What did Jesus mean when He said “This is My body”? Should it be taken literally?

PROBLEM: Orthodox Protestants believe in interpreting the Bible literally. But if Jesus’ statement here is taken literally, it seems to support the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation, namely, that, when consecrated, the communion bread becomes the actual body of Christ.

SOLUTION: Jesus no more meant that the statement “This is My body” should be taken literally than the statement “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). The Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation (that the bread becomes the actual body of Christ) is without biblical or rational support for many reasons.

First, the context is opposed to taking this literally. All agree that when Jesus made this statement, He was referring to the bread. Luke says “He took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it … saying, `This is My body’ ” (Luke 22:19). But it was obvious to all that Jesus’ actual body was holding the bread in His hands. So none of His disciples present could possibly have understood Him to mean the bread was His actual body.

Second, common sense is opposed to taking this literally. God created the senses, and all of life depends on our trusting the information they give us about our world. But those who believe in transubstantiation admit that the consecrated bread (host) looks, smells, and tastes like real bread. Why then would God call on us to distrust the very senses that He created and asks us to trust continually for our very life.

Third, parallel statements by Jesus are opposed to taking this literally. Jesus often spoke in figurative language. He said, “I am the Door” (John 10:9) and we should “eat the flesh of the Son of Man.” But neither Catholics nor Protestants take these literally (see comments on John 6:53–54). Why then should we take His statement (“This is My body”) about the communion bread literally




Ex 12:1-2 The Passover marked a new year and a new beginning for Israel.

Every believer is a new creation in Christ "Old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Cor 5:17)

Ex 12:5 A male lamb in its first year was taken into the home on the 10th of Nisan and was inspected for blemishes or defects before it was sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan.

Christ was closely inspected by:

  • The priests (Lk 20:1-26), Sadducees (Lk 20:27-38) and Scribes  (Lk 20:39-21:4)
  • Pilate (Mt 27:11-26; Lk 23:1-6, 13-25; Jn 18:28-19:16)
  • Herod (Lk 23:8-12)
  • Annas (Jn 18:12-13, 19-24)
  • Caiaphas (Mt 26:57)

They could find no fault for He was "a lamb unblemished and spotless" (1 Pe 1:19).

Ex 12:6 The "whole community" of God's people was required to participate in the sacrifice.

Receiving and believing in Christ's sacrifice is required for all who desire to participate in God's Kingdom (Ro 3:21-26).

Ex 12:7, 23 The blood of the lamb was applied to "the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it" and "the LORD will pass over the door" marked with blood.

Christ shed His blood to deliver sinners. One needs to be covered by the blood to be delivered from condemnation (Ro 3:25; Ro 5:9, Ro 8:1).

The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29).

Ex 12:14 The Passover was to be kept as a permanent memorial.

The Lord's Supper is to be done frequently "in remembrance of" Christ (Lk 22:19).

Ex 12:46 God commanded Israel not "to break any bone of" the lamb.

Roman soldiers came to break Jesus' legs, but He was already dead, so no bones were broken (Jn 19:32-33).

Adapted from Christ in the Passover - Benjamin Galan

Luke 22:20   And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

KJV Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.


And in the same way - What way? Just as He had given thanks for the bread, He gives thanks for the wine (cf Mt 26:27).

Bock - Jesus now takes what was probably the Passover’s third cup (OF FOUR)...and relates the cup to the new covenant." (BECNT-Luke)

He took the cup after they had eaten, saying - The phrase refers to the Passover Seder which was associated with eating and which could be a fairly substantial meal. So this is AFTER the Passover meal, and is when Jesus establishes the Lord's Supper or what we know as Communion or Eucharist. As we said, the Passover "passes over" to the Last Supper. Jesus' words signify the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant. When Jesus died on the Cross this came to fruition and was symbolized by the tearing of the veil in the Temple, which had restricted men's access to the Holy of holies, the presence of God. And so we read... 

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit (Mk 15:37, Lk 23:46+). And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mk 15:38, Lk 23:45+); and the earth shook and the rocks were split. (Mt 27:50-51)

The New Covenant brings about a new way of approaching God. The writer of Hebrews explains the benefits to believers now that the veil has been torn... 

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence (boldness) to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near (HIS RETURN). (Heb 10:19-25+)

Paul speaks of our new way to confidently approach our Father...

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through (THROUGH "THE VEIL") our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Ro 5:1-2+)

Hendriksen on after they had eaten - It was while, toward the close of the Passover meal, the men were all eating freely that Jesus instituted the new sacrament that was to replace the old. This also explains why both Luke (Lk 22:20) and Paul (1 Cor 11:25) speak of "the cup after supper."...A few more hours and the old symbol, being bloody—for it required the slaying of the lamb—will have served its purpose forever, having reached its fulfilment in the blood shed on Calvary. It was time, therefore, that a new and unbloody symbol replace the old. Nevertheless, by historically linking Passover and the Lord's Supper so closely together Jesus also made clear that what was essential in the first was not lost in the second. Both point to him, the only and all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of his people. Passover pointed forward to this; the Lord's Supper points back to it. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

This cup which is poured out for you - For "who?" To whom is Jesus speaking? His Jewish disciples. And so the covenant is addressed to the Jew first but as Paul adds, to the Greek (Gentiles) also (cf Ro 1:16). The cup is meant to represent the blood of the Lamb (1 Peter 1:18-19+), that inaugurates and validates the New Covenant eternally (cf Hebrews 13:20+ = "the blood of the eternal covenant" Hebrews 9:12+ =  "eternal redemption").

Fitzmeyer on poured out for you says this clause “is as vicarious and soteriological in its thrust as is Lk 22:19. Indeed, ‘poured out’ is even more connotative of death than ‘given.’ (in Lk 22:19)."

For you - Again (see above) the phrase for you alludes to substitutionary atonement, in essence saying that Jesus died once for all time in our place, on our behalf, for our sake, so that we might live forever in Him and for Him! 

Poured out (1632)(ekcheo from ek = out + chéo = pour) means literally to flow out, to gush forth or to pour out. The inherent idea is to cause something to be emitted in quantity.

Matthew adds 

And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26:27-28)

What is "new" about the "new covenant"? For those who enter the New Covenant by grace through faith, the Law is no longer written on tablets of stone but on their hearts (cf Ezekiel 36:26-27+) and the Holy Spirit has been poured out into their hearts (Ro 5:5+) and He supernaturally enables them to obey the Law written on their hearts (cf Ro 8:13+, Gal 3:3+).

Kent Hughes - By calling the cup "the new covenant in my blood," Jesus was intentionally contrasting his atoning work (the shedding of his blood) with the Old Covenant's ocean of blood. (Ibid)

William MacDonald writes that "His blood was sufficient to provide forgiveness for all. But here it was shed for many in that it was only effective in removing the sins of those who believe." (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

The new covenant in My blood - Again note the figurative language (See Guidelines for Figuring our Figurative Language). The cup of wine poured out symbolizes the His blood which is the basis for the establishment of the New Covenant. This covenant while "new" was actually promised to Israel in the Old Testament, at a time just before God's wrath fell on Judah, Jerusalem and the Temple, which were defeated and decimated by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar. In this hopeless setting, God in His matchless grace, gave that nation of Israel a "blessed hope." This promises is given in the section of Jeremiah 30-33 which is often referred to as the "Book of Consolation." How good is our God, who in the midst of deserved wrath, remembers undeserved mercy! You've experienced this wondrous gift, have you not? Every sin we commit deserves eternal punishment, but in Christ God's mercies are new every morning! And so in in this section of Jeremiah, God gives the incredible promise...

Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (NOTE WELL - THIS IS NOT GIVEN TO THE "CHURCH" - NOWHERE IS THE CHURCH EVER CALLED "THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND THE HOUSE OF JUDAH!), 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (OLD COVENANT - CONDITIONAL MOSAIC COVENANT), My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34+). 

Comment: The ESV Study Bible commenting on the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31 asks "Do the terms in Jer. 31:27, 31, 36-37 focus the prophecy on ethnic Israel or on a redefined Israel (the Jewish-Gentile church)?" (Italics mine!)

ED COMMENT -Who "redefined" Israel? Certainly not God! There are 77 uses of "Israel" in 75 verses in the NT and they all definitely refer to the nation of Israel, Gal 6:16+ being the passage some would say is the "exception"!) And I would also simply ask to whom is the prophecy in Jer 31:31 promised? Israel has not been "redefined" but is still the literal nation of Israel, a nation God miraculously restored to statehood in May, 1948 after almost 2000 years of "wandering" without a homeland (something never done in the history of the world)! Does that suggest that God is finished with "the house of Israel and the house of Judah"? That's a rhetorical question. It is this "genre" of comment in the respected ESV Study Bible (which I do hold in high regard) helps fuel the fire of those who teach a form of replacement theology or supersessionism

The best series I have ever seen on the truly miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel is listed below and is free on youtube with fascinating narration by Abba Eban a man who played a role in the rebirth. If you love Israel and have never seen this series, it will bless your heart as you see God's hand of providence behind the scenes (watch Him move in the heart of President Truman for example - you will know that this could only have been the sovereign, omnipotent hand of a God Who remains faithful to ALL of His covenant promises)...note you will get a warning that this is considered inappropriate by some viewers! This is the story of Israel being reborn as a nation. There is nothing offensive. 

  1. Israel: A Nation is Born - Part 1
  2. Israel: A Nation is Born - Part 2
  3. Israel: A Nation is Born - Part 3
  4. Israel: A Nation is Born - Part 4

Related Resource:

New (2537)(kainos) is an adjective which refers to that which is new kind (unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of). It relates to being not previously present. The "new" is opposite the old (palaios) and describes what was not there before. While the Abrahamic Covenant was also an unconditional covenant entered into by grace through faith (Genesis 15:6+), it was not the identical to the "New Covenant" promised to the nation of Israel in Jeremiah (See Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New and Abrahamic versus Mosaic). Note that since this covenant was promised first to the nation of Israel (Judah and Israel in Jer 31:31+), it will not be fully fulfilled until "all Israel is saved" as Paul described in Ro 11:26+, which will not happen until Messiah returns (see Zechariah 12:10-14+, Zech 13:1+, Zech 13:8-9+). 

Covenant (1242)(diatheke from diatithemi = set out in order, dispose in a certain order <> from dia = two + tithemi = to place pictures that which is placed between two. Thus, a covenant is something placed between two = thus an arrangement between two parties) literally conveys the idea of a testament, as in one's last will and testament. A covenant is an agreement between two parties that binds them together and conveys the associated ideas of very close fellowship (even oneness and identity as for example in the marriage covenant where two mystically become one flesh). Most of the NT uses of diatheke refer to God's declaration of His will concerning His self-commitment, promises, and conditions by which he entered into relationship with man.

Covenant has profound implications and is the most solemn, binding, intimate contract known in the Bible. Covenant was considered a binding agreement among the ancients, and so was not entered into lightly. After pieces of the sacrificial animal were laid opposite one another, the individuals who were cutting covenant would walk between the flesh. This walk represented the so-called walk into death indicating their commitment to die to independent living and to ever after live for their covenant partner and to fulfill the stipulations of their covenant (See this practice in Jer 34:8ff, esp Jer 34:18-19). Furthermore, this walk into death was a testimony by each covenant partner that if either broke the covenant God would take their life, even as had been done to the sacrificial animal. In short, we see the gravity of entering into and then breaking covenant. Covenant was a pledge to death. A pledge cut in blood. In covenant the shedding of blood demonstrated as nothing else could the intensity of the commitment. By cutting covenant the two parties were bound for life. Thus the shedding of blood in the cutting of covenant established the gravity and binding nature of this transaction. Both the Old and the New Covenants were inaugurated with blood. The practice of cutting covenant is found throughout history with traces or remnants of covenant truth in every quarter of the globe. (See Introduction to Covenant and Summary of Major Biblical Covenants)

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Paul wrote "In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor 11:25+)

Blood (see Lev 17:11+) was the element necessary to ratify both the Old and the New Covenant, the Old with blood of sacrificial animals, the New with blood of the Lamb of God. Moses describes the ratification of the Old Covenant

So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, (berit/berith/beriyth) which the LORD has made ("cut" - karath) with you in accordance with all these words.” (Ex 24:8+)

The writer of Hebrews adds..

Therefore even the first (OLD) covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD COMMANDED YOU.” (Heb 9:18-20+)

MacDonald - The Jewish people were forbidden to eat blood, and the disciples knew therefore that He was not speaking of literal blood, but of that which typified His blood. (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

Jesus' precious blood forms the basis of one of the great prayers in the New Testament...

Now the God of peace, Who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing (GOD'S PROVISION) to do His will (OUR RESPONSIBILITY), (HIS SPIRIT SUPERNATURALLY) working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21+

Comment: Do not miss the juxtaposition of God's provision and our responsibility to obey, having been given all we need to obey and even being energized by the Spirit to obey, giving us both the desire to obey and the power to obey! - Php 2:13NLT+) See also the "Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" (100/100). 

Related Resources:

"'Tis in Thy cross, Lord, that we learn
What Thou in all Thy fulness art;
There, through the darkening cloud discern
The love of Thy devoted heart".
-- Edward Denny

Brian Bell - The Cup! The Passover requires 4 cups of wine (2 before the meal and 2 after) The cup of Sanctification; The cup of Instruction; The cup of Redemption; The cup of Praise. [Taken from Ex.6:6,7] The cup of wine that would have been raised during the meal that is now remembered when one commemorates “the Lord’s Supper” was the cup of redemption. This was when Jesus established the New Covenant in His own blood. It’s a New Covenant(20) – Sacred binding contract. (Jer 31:31-34+)...In My blood (20) - Biblical covenants were always ratified by shed blood. After the cup of redemption, which commemorates God’s redemption of His people, comes the cup of praise. The cup of praise is the cup of wine that Jesus refused to drink from until the coming of His Father’s Kingdom! (see Lk 22:30) (Reference)

Richards - In Old Testament times a covenant was a binding legal agreement, whose nature was determined by the parties involved. Between two businessmen it was a contract. Between nations it was a treaty. Between ruler and people it was a constitution. But between God and human beings, the basic force of “covenant” is a commitment. God’s ancient covenant with Abraham is marked by His statement of what “I will” do. God’s temporary covenant with Israel established through Moses, the Law, specified what God would do if Israel obeyed—or disobeyed. The “New Covenant” Jesus spoke of at the Last Supper, instituted at His death and sealed by His own shed blood, is God’s commitment to forgive the sins of those who believe in His Son, and to transform their character from within (cf. Jer. 31:31–34; Heb. 10:16–18). (The 365 Day Devotional Commentary)

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. --Lowry

Christ's sacrifice is exactly what God desired and our sin required

Luke 22:21   "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table.

KJV Luke 22:21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.

  • Job 19:19; Ps 41:9; Micah 7:5,6; Mt 26:21-23; Mark 14:18; John 13:18,19,21,26
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Parallel Passages Dealing with Judas' Betrayal of Jesus:

Matthew 26:21-23 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 

Mark 14:18-20+ As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me–one who is eating with Me.” 19 They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” 20 And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. 

From the chart below we can make several observations regarding the timing of the events at the Last Supper which was described in the Synoptic Gospels but not in John's Gospel. First, note that the betrayal is announced in all 4 Gospel accounts. Second, note that both Matthew and Mark place Jesus' announcement of a betrayer in their midst before His institution of the Lord's Supper. Luke places the disclosure of the betrayer after the institution of the Lord's Supper. Third, note that Luke's account has three discussions not in Matthew or Mark. Finally, John's Gospel makes no specific mention of the institution of the Lord's Supper, but includes the upper room discourse not present in any of the synoptic Gospels.

As discussed below, most commentaries feel that Judas Iscariot left the Passover meal before the Lord instituted the Lord's supper and before He gave them the important teaching in John 13-16. Stated another way according to Matthew and Mark, the betrayal announcement came between the two suppers and so is considered to be chronologically out of place in Luke. Thus the chronology of these events can be somewhat confusing if one relies solely on Luke's account which discusses the betrayal after the institution of the Lord's Supper. Clearly, it is almost unthinkable that Judas would have shared in the precious truth of the Lord's Supper, which restricted to those who are genuine believers in Jesus. To be given the morsel by the host during  the Passover meal was to be singled out for special honor and so Jesus gave Judas a chance when He bestowed  this honor on Judas by dipping a morsel of bread and giving it to him. (John 13:26)


Matthew 26:21-25 Betrayal Announced
Matthew 26:26-29 Lord's Supper Instituted
Mark 14:18-21 Betrayal Announced
Mark 14:22-25 Lord's Supper Instituted
Luke 22:19-20 Lord's Supper Instituted
Luke 22:21-23 Betrayal Announced
Luke 22:24-30 Disciples Argue over Who is Greatest
NOT IN Matthew or Mark
Luke 22:31-35

Jesus' Prophecy of Peter's Denial
NOT IN Matthew or Mark

Luke 22:36-38 Jesus Talks of Swords
NOT IN Matthew or Mark
John 13:1-16 Jesus' Example Washing Feet 
John 13:17-30 Betrayal Announced
More Detail than Synoptic Gospels
John 13-16 Jesus' Great Final Teaching
of Lord's Supper

Darrell Bock comments that "There is irony in the betrayal’s sacred setting: a meal commemorating deliverance is also a meal that points to a sacred death. The moment is emotional at several levels: Jesus is about to be given over to the nation, and the disciples celebrate the nation’s freeing by God. The irony and the mystery could not be greater." (Baker Exegetical Commentary-Luke)

But (plen) when used as an adverb at the beginning of a clause often means but (but rather, but yet, nevertheless). Here the contrast (see term of contrast) is striking - Jesus has just described His blood being poured out to inaugurate the New Covenant but now describes the one who will play a pivotal role in pouring out His blood to make possible the New Covenant! 

John MacArthur - Jesus had just finished celebrating the final Passover meal and inaugurated the first Lord’s Supper with the apostles when He stunned them.  (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Behold (2400)(idou) is the second person singular aorist middle imperative of eidon which means to see, perceive, look at. In the NT idou is used as a demonstrative particle that draws attention to what follows. Idou in the middle voice means "you yourself look, see, perceive!" The aorist imperative is a command emphasizing "Do it now! Don't delay!" In context "Pay attention!" What Jesus was going to say would be not only be a surprise but also a shock!

Both Matthew and Mark emphasize eating - "As they were eating” (Mt 26:21) and "As they were reclining at the table and eating." (Mk 14:18). This is significant because in this culture eating together was regarded as a sign of friendship and this served to only compound Judas' treachery, making it that much more contemptible (cf Ps 41:9 quoted in Jn 13:18). 

The hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table - The NLT paraphrases it "But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me."

Matthew and Mark record the shock of the disciples "Being deeply (very much) grieved (distressed, sorrowful, profoundly pained), they each one (EVEN THE DECEIVER JUDAS!) began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 

What does Jesus mean by a description of the hand of His betrayer? Matthew gives us some help because he records Jesus' answer that “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me." (Mt 26:23) Assuming Jesus was seated next to Jesus and the bowls for dipping were spread around the table, it is very likely that Judas shared a bowl with Jesus. Thus Judas would have dipped his hand with Jesus in that bowl. Mark is similar noting that "It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl." (Mk 14:20). Apparently the disciples still did not comprehend Jesus' somewhat cryptic "clue." 

The NET Note agrees writing that "The point of Jesus' comment here (in Mt 26:23) is not to identify the specific individual per se, but to indicate that it is one who was close to Him - somebody whom no one would suspect. His comment serves to heighten the treachery of Judas' betrayal. 

Jesus knew what was in the hearts of men (Jn 2:24 - Does this not convict you slightly? It does me!) and so He knew from the beginning Judas was a betrayer (Jn 6:70-71) The tragic irony is that the Last Supper was a time of intimate fellowship but also a time of inimical falling away and betrayal. This had to be one of the greatest examples of hypocritical behavior in the history of mankind! Judas heard the declaration by Jesus of a New Covenant in His blood and yet his heart was stone cold and adamantly determined to betray Jesus. 

From the diagram above, Edersheim (see his explanation below) has Jesus reclining between Judas on His left and John on His right. If this is indeed the case, are we not utterly amazed that Judas was given such a seat of honor? It is as if God wanted to give this wicked man every possible chance to change his heart!

It is notable that not one of the other 11 disciples asked "Is it Judas?" Clearly, they did not have a clue that Judas was Jesus' traitor, so clever was his camouflage as a  sheep who was really a wolf! He was so trusted that he was given the role as treasurer, and even in that role proved deceitfully untrustworthy, for he pilfered money (Jn 12:6, cf Mt 26:15, Zech 11:12-13). Beloved, do we really understand how deceitful (and potentially damning) the love of money can be?! (cf 1 Ti 6:9-10+)

Betraying (handing over) (3860)(paradidomi from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) conveys the basic meaning of to give over from one's hand to someone or something, especially to give over to the power of another. Paradidomi was often used to describe criminals being arrested or prisoners being delivered to punishment which is interesting in view of the fact that Pilate released a guilty criminal (Barabbus) and delivered over the sinless Son of Man to the Cross!

Paradidomi is a key verb in Luke 22 - Lk. 22:4; Lk. 22:6; Lk. 22:21; Lk. 22:22; Lk. 22:48; (cf Lk. 23:25; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:20).

It is notable that paradidomi is in this verse is the present tense, indicating that Judas was continually in the process of giving Jesus over to the authorities (Satan was actively motivating him - Lk 22:3, Jn 13:2 and he had accepted "blood money" - Lk 22:4-5), continually looking for a spot or time that the religious leaders might be able to capture Him without fear of a inducing a riot from the crowds (Lk 22:6). 

Edersheim explains his reason for seating Judas to the left of Christ

So far for the arrangement of the table. Jewish documents are equally explicit as to that of the guests. It seems to have been quite an established rule that, in a company of more than two, say of three, the chief personage or Head - in this instance, of course, Christ - reclined on the middle divan. We know from the Gospel-narrative that John occupied the place on His right, at that end of the divans - as we may call it - at the head of the table. But the chief place next to the Master would be that to His left, or above Him. In the strife of the disciples, which should be accounted the greatest, this had been claimed, and we believe it to have been actually occupied, by Judas. This explains how, Christ whispered to John by what sign to recognise the traitor, (Jn 13:26)none of the other disciples heard it. It also explains, how Christ would first hand to Judas the sop, which formed part of the Paschal ritual, beginning with him as the chief guest at the table, without thereby exciting special notice. Lastly, it accounts for the circumstance that, when Judas, desirous of ascertaining whether his treachery was known, dared to ask whether it was he, and received the affirmative answer, (Mt 26:25) no one at table knew what had passed. But this could not have been the case, unless Judas had occupied the place next to Christ; in this case, necessarily that at His left, or the post of chief honour. (Edersheim)

The Psalmist alludes to Judas' unimaginable, heinous betrayal of Jesus writing

Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Ps 41:9)

As alluded to above, Jesus quoted from this Psalm in John 13:18 “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’ ("kicked Me when I was down")

Spurgeon - This was Ahithophel (cf 2 Sa 15:31) to David, and Iscariot with our Lord. Judas was an apostle, admitted to the privacy of the Great Teacher, hearing his secret thoughts, and, as it were, allowed to read His very heart. "Et tu, Brute?" said the expiring Caesar. The kiss of the traitor wounded our Lord's heart as much as the nail wounded his hand. In whom I trusted. Judas was the treasurer of the apostolic college. Where we place great confidence an unkind act is the more severely felt. Which did eat of my bread. Not only as a guest but as a dependant, a pensioner at my board. Judas dipped in the same dish with his Lord, and hence the more accursed was his treachery in his selling his Master for a slave's price. Hath lifted up his heel against me. Not merely turned his back on me, but left me with a heavy kick such as a vicious horse might give. Hard is it to be spurned in our need by those who formerly fed at our table. It is noteworthy that the Redeemer applied only the last words of this verse to Judas, perhaps because, knowing his duplicity, he had never made a familiar friend of him in the fullest sense, and had not placed implicit trust in him. Infernal malice so planned it that every circumstance in Jesus' death should add wormwood to it; and the betrayal was one of the bitterest drops of gall. We are indeed, wretched when our quondam friend becomes our relentless foe, when confidence is betrayed, when all the rites of hospitality are perverted, and ingratitude is the only return for kindness; yet in so deplorable a case we may cast ourselves upon the faithfulness of God, who, having, delivered our Covenant Head, is in verity engaged to be the very present help of all for whom that covenant was made.

David's words in Psalm 55:12-14 were a foreshadowing of Messiah's betrayal:

For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him.  But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend;  We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng. 

Spurgeon - The reader will do well to observe how accurately the psalmist described his own Psalm when he said, "I mourn in my complaint, "or rather "give loose to my thoughts, "for he proceeds from one point of his sorrow to another, wandering on like one in a maze, making few pauses, and giving no distinct intimations that he is changing the subject. Now from the turbulent city his mind turns to the false hearted councillor. For is was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it. It was not an open foe, but a pretended friend; he went over to the other camp and tried to prove the reality of his treachery by calumniating his old friend. None are such real enemies as false friends. Reproaches from those who have been intimate with us, and trusted by us, cut us to the quick; and they are usually so well acquainted with our peculiar weaknesses that they know how to touch us where we are most sensitive, and to speak so as to do us most damage. The slanders of an avowed antagonist are seldom so mean and dastardly as those of a traitor, and the absence of the elements of ingratitude and treachery renders them less hard to bear. We can bear from Shimei what we cannot endure from Ahithophel. Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him. We can find a hiding place from open foes, but who can escape from treachery? If our enemies proudly boast over us we nerve our souls for resistance, but when those who pretended to love us leer at us with contempt, whither shall we go? Our blessed Lord had to endure at its worst the deceit and faithlessness of a favoured disciple; let us not marvel when we are called to tread the road which is marked by his pierced feet.

But it was thou. He sees him. The poetic fury is upon him, he sees the traitor as though he stood before him in flesh and blood. He singles him out, he points his finger at him, he challenges him to his face. But thouEt tu, Brute. And thou, Ahithophel, art thou here? Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man? A man mine equal. Treated by me as one of my own rank, never looked upon as an inferior, but as a trusted friend. My guide, a counsellor so sage that I trusted thine advice and found it prudent to do so. And mine acquaintance, with whom I was on most intimate terms, who knew me even as I knew him by mutual disclosures of heart. No stranger occasionally conversed with, but a near and dear friend admitted to my secret fellowship. It was fiendish treason for such a one to prove false hearted. There was no excuse for such villainy. Judas stood very much in this relation to our Lord, he was treated as an equal, trusted as treasurer, and in that capacity often consulted with. He knew the place where the Master was wont to spend his solitude; in fact, he knew all the Master's movements, and yet he betrayed him to his remorseless adversaries. How justly might the Lord have pointed at him and said, But thou; but his gentler spirit warned the son of perdition in the mildest manner, and had not Iscariot been tenfold a child of hell he would have relinquished his detestable purpose.

We took sweet counsel together. It was not merely the counsel which men take together in public or upon common themes, their fellowship had been tender and confidential. The traitor had been treated lovingly, and trusted much. Solace, mutual and cheering, had grown out of their intimate communings. There were secrets between them of no common kind. Soul had been in converse with soul, at least on David's part. However feigned might have been the affection of the treacherous one, the betrayed friend had not dealt with him coldly, or guarded his utterance before him. Shame on the wretch who could belie such fellowship, and betray such confidence! And walked unto the house of God in company. Religion had rendered their intercourse sacred, they had mingled their worship, and communed on heavenly themes. If ever any bonds ought to be held inviolable, religious connections should be. There is a measure of impiety, of a detestable sort, in the deceit which debases the union of men who make profession of godliness. Shall the very altar of God be defiled with hypocrisy? Shall the gatherings of the temple be polluted by the presence of treachery? All this was true of Ahithophel, and in a measure of Judas. His union with the Lord was on the score of faith, they were joined in the holiest of enterprises, he had been sent on the most gracious of errands. His cooperation with Jesus to serve his own abominable ends stamped him as the firstborn of hell. Better had it been for him had he never been born. Let all deceitful professors be warned by his doom, for like Ahithophel he went to his own place by his own hand, and retains a horrible preeminence in the calendar of notorious crime. Here was one source of heart break for the Redeemer, and it is shared in by his followers. Of the serpent's brood some vipers still remain, who will sting the hand that cherished them, and sell for silver those who raised them to the position which rendered it possible for them to be so abominably treacherous.

Brian Bell (Illustration) -  The Portia (Por-sha) Spider: a jumping spider that uses deception and mimicry to catch and eat other spiders. It uses camouflage or it shows a kind of behavioral mimicry: It imitates something its intended victim finds harmless or even attractive. (i.e. it crawls on a spider's web, then plucks the web to imitate a captured insect) It varies its web signals to suit its specific victim. If it encounters a new spider species, it tries different signals rather randomly. (It was once observed to perform vibratory behavior for 3 days until the victim decided to investigate) That seems to be similar to our enemy the devil who seeks to rob, destroy, or sift us like wheat! Talk about ruining a good meal! (Lk 22:21) THE BITE OF BETRAYAL! (21-23) (21) In the East the worst breach of Friendship is for one to eat another’s bread & secretly betray him. (Gospel Light ; George M. Lamsa; pg.300.) To eat bread is a token of loyalty, love, & devotion. His hand is on the table - is an Aramaic colloquialism, which means, “he is eating my bread & yet he is plotting against me.”

Luke 22:22   "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"

KJV Luke 22:22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!

  • For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined Luke 24:25-27,46; Genesis 3:15; Ps 22:1-31; 69:1-36; Isaiah 53:1-12+; Daniel 9:24-26; Zechariah 13:7; Mt 26:24,53,54; Mark 14:21; Acts 2:23; 4:25-28; 13:27,28; Acts 26:22,23; 1 Cor 15:3,4; 1 Peter 1:11
  • but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed Ps 55:12-15; 69:22-28; 109:6-15; Mt 27:5; John 17:12; Acts 1:16-25; 2 Peter 2:3
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Acts 2:22-24  “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

Acts 4:27-28  “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.


Parallel Passage:

Matthew 26:21-25  As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24“The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25  And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.”

Mark 14:17-21+ When it was evening He *came with the twelve. 18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me–one who is eating with Me.” 19 They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” 20 And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. “For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

For indeed, the Son of Man - Son of Man is the Messianic title Jesus and is mentioned by all three synoptic writers. The title "Son of God" is Jesus' divine name (Mt 8:29), "Son of David" His Jewish name (Mt 9:27), but "Son of Man" is the name that links Him to the earth and to His mission. Son of Man was Jesus' favorite designation of Himself and derives from Daniel's prophecy

I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. (Da 7:13-14+)

Son of Man - 88x in 84v - Matt. 8:20; Matt. 9:6; Matt. 10:23; Matt. 11:19; Matt. 12:8; Matt. 12:32; Matt. 12:40; Matt. 13:37; Matt. 13:41; Matt. 16:13; Matt. 16:27; Matt. 16:28; Matt. 17:9; Matt. 17:12; Matt. 17:22; Matt. 18:11; Matt. 19:28; Matt. 20:18; Matt. 20:28; Matt. 24:27; Matt. 24:30; Matt. 24:37; Matt. 24:39; Matt. 24:44; Matt. 25:31; Matt. 26:2; Matt. 26:24; Matt. 26:45; Matt. 26:64; Mk. 2:10; Mk. 2:28; Mk. 8:31; Mk. 8:38; Mk. 9:9; Mk. 9:12; Mk. 9:31; Mk. 10:33; Mk. 10:45; Mk. 13:26; Mk. 14:21; Mk. 14:41; Mk. 14:62; Lk. 5:24; Lk. 6:5; Lk. 6:22; Lk. 7:34; Lk. 9:22; Lk. 9:26; Lk. 9:44; Lk. 9:56; Lk. 9:58; Lk. 11:30; Lk. 12:8; Lk. 12:10; Lk. 12:40; Lk. 17:22; Lk. 17:24; Lk. 17:26; Lk. 17:30; Lk. 18:8; Lk. 18:31; Lk. 19:10; Lk. 21:27; Lk. 21:36; Lk. 22:22; Lk. 22:48; Lk. 22:69; Lk. 24:7; Jn. 1:51; Jn. 3:13; Jn. 3:14; Jn. 5:27; Jn. 6:27; Jn. 6:53; Jn. 6:62; Jn. 8:28; Jn. 9:35; Jn. 12:23; Jn. 12:34; Jn. 13:31; Acts 7:56; Heb. 2:6; Rev. 1:13; Rev. 14:14

Is going as it has been determined - Is going is a euphemistic way of Jesus saying He is going to die. And as it has been determined (perfect tense indicates a state arising from a completed action in the past; divine passive) indicates that the crucifixion was not an accident. It must happen this way for it was the central piece of God's grand plan of redemption of sinful mankind. God ordained this to happen. Matthew and Mark say it this way "just as it is written of Him" (Mt 26:24, cf Mk 14:21)  where "written" is in the perfect tense, indicating it was written in the past and stands written and thus is true and trustworthy. It is written in the OT in many Messianic prophecies (cf Ge 3:15+, Ps 22:1, Da 9:26+, Zech 12:10+, etc) which predict that the Son of Man would come to die so that sinful sons of men might live forever in Him. While Judas (and Satan Jn 13:27) meant his betrayal for evil, God would used it for our eternal good (cf Ge 50:20, Ro 9:17+). God's plan of redemption was not an afterthought had been planned from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8+).

As John MacArthur puts it "Judas's malicious decision to reject and betray Christ was used by God in fulfilling Christ's gracious mission of redemption. An unholy man in the hands of a holy God was used to accomplish a holy purpose." (See MacArthur Commentary)

Leon Morris - “The fact that God overrules the evil that bad people do as he brings his purposes to pass does not make them any the less evil.”  (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

But woe (ouai) to that man by whom He is betrayed (paradidomi ub present tense - Judas was in process of doing this) - But is a term of contrast which contrasts God's sovereignty (has been determined) with human responsibility. Judas would betray Jesus just as God had pre-determined (sovereignty), and he would be held accountable for his actions (human responsibility)(Woe!). This has to be the worst woe in the history of the world! Woe in this context speaks of intense distress and for Judas that would be in time and throughout eternity! Judas illustrates the danger and the tragedy of seeing and hearing truth and in essence "trampling" on it! (cf Heb 10:29) Judas Iscariot was the classic apostate, who had grace and truth, who seemed to partake of truth for 3 years and yet intentionally, willfully withdrew from and rejected the truth from the One Who is Truth personified. He reminds one of those in Hebrews 6:4 "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit (JUDAS SURELY WAS), and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come (JUDAS DID - SEE Lk 9:1-2+), and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame." (Heb 6:4-6+) . Beloved, for those folks you share the Gospel with and they draw back making the statement "I might believe if I had more evidence that Jesus was real," you need to remind them of Judas Iscariot. No man had more exposure to the "real Jesus" and yet still steadfastly and resolutely rejected "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6)! The problem is never about enough evidence. The heart of the problem is the heart! 

Judas is an example of those individuals described in the most serious and fearful warning passage in the book of Hebrews...

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth (JUDAS WOULD BE THE PROTOTYPICAL EXAMPLE AFTER THREE YEARS IN THE VERY PRESENCE OF THE ONE WHO IS "FAITHFUL AND TRUE" Rev 19:11+), there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES....29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified (JUDAS LITERALLY HEARD JESUS WORDS INAUGURATING THE NEW COVENANT IN HIS BLOOD!), and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  (Hebrews 10:26-27+, Hebrews 10:29-31+)

Mark records  "For the Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." (Mk 14:21+, cf Matthew's similar wording - Mk 26:24) Beloved, while Judas' degree of eternal punishment will be greater than others because of his greater light (Mk 11:21-22+, Lk 10:13-16+), ALL who reject Christ will sadly suffer the horrors of eternal punishment and thus it would have been better for them had they never been born! Does this horrible truth not impel and compel us to seek to speak the Gospel to those lost in spiritual darkness while they might still be found with the light of the Gospel (cf 2 Cor 4:4+)?

THOUGHT- "Remember this if you are playing fast and loose with your attachment to Jesus Christ. You can come to church, hear sound preaching, volunteer for Christian work, support Christian causes, even partake of the Lord's Supper, and still perish, if you are not truly born again. And perish Judas did! Judas is in hell today. Jesus' words about Judas's end teach plainly "that it is better never to live at all, than to live without faith and to die without grace," as Ryle states it. It is possible to be as close to Jesus as Judas was and be lost." (James M Boice - An Expositional Commentary).

Determined (fixed, predetermined) (3724)(horizo from horos = boundary; English "horizon") means to establish a boundary and so make a determination about an entity. Who determined this sinister event? Not the Devil, not Judas, not the Jewish leaders but God -- God determined that His Son would be "delivered over" and be "nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put to death." (cf similar use of horizo in Acts 2:23+; cf Acts 4:28) In short, Jesus went to the cross so that the Word of God would be fulfilled, for as Jesus said "all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Lk 24:44+, Mt. 26:54).  While God is sovereign and in complete control of the events leading to His Son's death, Judas was still held to be personally responsible for his willful betrayal, and thus "perished (as) the son of perdition (JUDAS), so that the Scripture would be fulfilled (See Ps 109:8, Acts 1:20)." (Jn 17:12).

Horizo - 8v - appointed(2), declared(1), determined(3), fixes(1), predetermined(1). Lk. 22:22; Acts 2:23; Acts 10:42; Acts 11:29; Acts 17:26; Acts 17:31; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 4:7

Woe (How dreadful!) (3759 - click and select "Phonetics" to hear "ouai" pronounced) (ouai pronounced "oo-ah'ee," an eerie, ominous foreboding sound some say is like the cry of an eagle) is an onomatopoeic word (an imitation of the sound) which serves as an interjection expressing a cry of intense distress, displeasure or horror. It conveys a warning of impending disaster to the hearers. Most NT uses of ouai are in the context of warning about inevitable, impending judgment, often intermingled with a feeling of pity (Lk 22:22 = Judas' betrayal). Why is this such a horrible "woe" for Judas? Because of all the people in history, Judas had more light than anyone and yet rejected the light. Consequently, Judas will be relegated to the nadir of Hell, forever suffering more horrible eternal punishment than any other human being. (See Lk 10:13-15+, Mt 11:21-24). Just imagine Judas standing before His Judge (Jesus) to hear His sentence (Rev 20:11-12+)!

Ouai - 47x in 36v - woe(46), woes(1). Matt. 11:21; Matt. 18:7; Matt. 23:13; Matt. 23:14; Matt. 23:15; Matt. 23:16; Matt. 23:23; Matt. 23:25; Matt. 23:27; Matt. 23:29; Matt. 24:19; Matt. 26:24; Mk. 13:17; Mk. 14:21; Lk. 6:24; Lk. 6:25; Lk. 6:26; Lk. 10:13; Lk. 11:42; Lk. 11:43; Lk. 11:44; Lk. 11:46; Lk. 11:47; Lk. 11:52; Lk. 17:1; Lk. 21:23; Lk. 22:22; 1 Co. 9:16; Jude 1:11; Rev. 8:13; Rev. 9:12; Rev. 11:14; Rev. 12:12; Rev. 18:10; Rev. 18:16; Rev. 18:19

Betrayed (handed over) (3860)(paradidomi) means to hand one over to the power of another. Judas for 30 pieces of silver gave Jesus over to the power and authority of the Jewish leaders.

Paradidomi in Luke and Acts - Lk. 1:2; Lk. 4:6; Lk. 9:44; Lk. 10:22; Lk. 12:58; Lk. 18:32; Lk. 20:20; Lk. 21:12; Lk. 21:16; Lk. 22:4; Lk. 22:6; Lk. 22:21; Lk. 22:22; Lk. 22:48; Lk. 23:25; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:20; Acts 3:13; Acts 6:14; Acts 7:42; Acts 8:3; Acts 12:4; Acts 14:26; Acts 15:26; Acts 15:40; Acts 16:4; Acts 21:11; Acts 22:4; Acts 27:1; Acts 28:17

Luke 22:23   And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.

KJV Luke 22:23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

  • Mt 26:22; Mark 14:19; John 13:22-25
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing - And (kai) links this closely with Jesus' statement about His betrayal! This statement is found only in Luke's Gospel. Here the disciples were debating this among themselves, the present tense indicating this was an ongoing dialogue. Luke summarizes their three questions addressed to Jesus, first a question of "wholesome self-distrust," "Surely not I?" (Mt 26:22, Mk 14:19), secondly, Judas' hypocritical question "Surely, not I, Rabbi?" (Mt. 26:25) and finally John's question whispered to Jesus "Lord, who is it?" (Jn 13:25). 

Discuss (4802)(suzeteo from sun = together + zeteo = to seek, inquire) means to carry on a discussion, to inquire together and evolved to a negative meaning -  to dispute, debate or argue (Mk 1:27, etc). Suzeteo means to express forceful differences of opinion without necessarily having a presumed goal of seeking a solutionPlato used it to mean to examine together. Of Pharisees arguing with Jesus (Mk 8:11), of Scribes arguing with Jesus' disciples (Mk 9:14), of Jews arguing with Stephen (Acts 6:9), of Paul (Saul at the time) arguing with the Hellenistic Jews (Acts 9:29). Not in the Septuagint.

Suzeteo - 10x in 10v - argue(1), argued(1), arguing(3), debated(1), discuss(1), discussing(3). Mk. 1:27; Mk. 8:11; Mk. 9:10; Mk. 9:14; Mk. 9:16; Mk. 12:28; Lk. 22:23; Lk. 24:15; Acts 6:9; Acts 9:29

The apostle John gives us additional interactions between the disciples (especially Peter and John) not found in the Synoptic accounts...

 When Jesus had said this (esp Jn 13:18), He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved (JOHN ON JESUS' RIGHT SIDE). 24 So Simon Peter gestured to him (TO JOHN SUGGESTING HE WAS DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM JESUS AND JOHN), and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 (BUT JOHN DID NOT KNOW SO) He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (A HOST GIVING A MORSEL TO A GUEST WAS A SIGN OF FRIENDSHIP -- WHAT A BITTER IRONY! = JESUS' GRACIOUS ACT OF FRIENDSHIP REVEALED JUDAS' EGREGIOUS ACT OF BETRAYAL OF FRIENDSHIP! THIS IS NOT THE INITIATION OF THE LORD'S SUPPER IN Lk 22:19)  27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him (Cf Lk 22:3+ - THIS SEEMS TO DESCRIBE A SECOND TIME THE DEVIL GAINED CONTROL OF JUDAS). Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” (Cf JESUS STATEMENT IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE - Mt 26:50) 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him (APPARENTLY EVEN JOHN HAD NOT FULLY GRASPED WHAT JESUS HAD SAID IN Jn 13:26). 29 For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor (TRADITIONALLY THIS WAS DONE BY THE JEWS AT PASSOVER). 30 So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night (IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE! cf "this hour and the power of darkness are yours." - Lk 22:53+ = Judas was obeying the "prince of darkness." As Wiersbe says "Alas, for Judas, it is still night and always will be night!). (John 13:21-30)

Comment: From the chart above on the chronology of the Last Supper, it is clear Matthew and Mark place Jesus revelation of a betrayer in their midst before He instituted the Lord's Supper. Most commentators therefore think that Judas went out after receiving the Passover bread (John 13:26-30) and was not present when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper. 

John MacArthur for example comments "Lest that devil incarnate participate further in the Passover meal with them or in any way interfere with Jesus' last precious moments with the true disciples, and to set him loose for the final scenes of his treachery, the Lord said to the betrayer, "What you do, do quickly" (Mt 26:27b). Except for John, the others did not know why Jesus gave that instruction to Judas but supposed "because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, 'Buy things we have need of for the feast'; or else, that he should give something to the poor" (Mt 26:28-29). Jesus knew who the betrayer was; John knew; and Judas himself knew. But the rest did not know. After Judas left and Jesus was alone with the eleven faithful disciples, He transformed the Passover of the Old Covenant into the Lord's Supper of the New Covenant." (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew) (Bolding added)

African Study Bible - Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus’ disciples. He is described specifically as the one who betrayed Jesus. Without question, Jesus knew in advance Judas would betray him, even though Judas kept his intentions secret. This fact is well illustrated by the Swahili proverb that says, Machoni, rafiki; moyoni, mnafiki, meaning, "Friendly in the eyes but a hypocrite at heart." This proverb observes how hypocrites are typically quite skilled at concealing their true character. This fact might explain how Judas’s true nature remained hidden from the eyes of his companions. However, Jesus knew the contents of Judas’s heart. Similarly, Jesus knows the contents of our hearts. They are laid bare before him, the One to whom we are ultimately accountable (Hebrews 4:13). Therefore, we must always seek purity of heart (ED: WE CANNOT DO THIS IN RELIANCE ON OUR NATURAL STRENGTH BUT IN ORDER TO CULTIVATE HOLY HEARTS WE NEED TO CONTINUALLY TAKE IN THE HOLY WORD -- THAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY -- AND CONTINUALLY RELY ON THE SPIRIT TO TRANSFORM US INTO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST -- GOD'S PART - 2Cor 3:18+). (Oasis International = Consider support of this ministry to get more of this great culturally sensitive study Bible into the hands of the growing church in Africa)

Luke 22:24   And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.

KJV Luke 22:24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

YLT (literal)  Luke 22:24 And there happened also a strife among them -- who of them is accounted to be greater. 

  • Luke 9:46; Mt 20:20-24; Mark 9:34; 10:37-41; Romans 12:10; 1 Cor 13:4; Philippians 2:3-5; James 4:5,6; 1 Peter 5:5,6
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


This conversation about their discussion during the Passover celebration of who was greatest is only found in Luke 22:23-30. Periodic problems with pride had presented themselves, so this was not a new issue. That they would argue at the time of this special meal shows that they were self-centered not Christ centered and did not fully understand that He Himself was the prophesied Passover Lamb! Here are a couple of previous episodes demonstrating their pride:

They (James and John - Mk 10:35) said to Him, “Grant (aorist imperative - a command!) that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.”(Mark 10:37+)

MacArthur - Their request reflects the common practice of ancient rulers to elevate their highest ranking, most intimate family members and associates to the places of honor on either side of them. (See Mark 9-16 MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. (Luke 9:46+)

Steven Cole - The context of Luke heightens the absurdity of this debate among the disciples. Jesus has just announced His impending death (Lu 9:44) and He is about to set His face to go to that fate in Jerusalem (Lu 9:51). Sandwiched between these solemn pronouncements, the disciples bicker about which of them is the greatest! We will again encounter a similar episode at the Last Supper (Lu 22:24). But before we shake our heads and say, “How could they do that?” we need to acknowledge that we are made of the same fabric as the disciples; we struggle against the same problems. The fact that they got into a similar dispute on the eve of the crucifixion should also warn us that this isn’t a lesson that you learn once and store away in your file cabinet. It is a lesson that we must constantly apply. (Relational Lessons for Christian Service ) (Bolding added)

MacArthur - Nothing comes more naturally to fallen human beings than pride, manifesting itself in self-centeredness, self-love, self-promotion, and self-fulfillment. Pride is the defining sin of fallen human nature, the soil in which all other sins sprout, take root, and grow. It is the damning sin that produced angelic rebellion against God and sought to topple Him from His throne as the sovereign ruler of the universe. It produced the sin of Eve and Adam, plunging the race into corruption. That pride has been reclassified as a virtue throughout history and in contemporary society only reveals the depths of human depravity. Isaiah wrote of such a wicked reversal of reality, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20)....Jesus’ warning of His impending suffering and death (Lk 9:44) and their need to be willing to suffer (Lk 9:23-26) had not sunk in with the apostles (Lk 9:45-46). They still were focused on the crown instead of the cross; on the glory, not the suffering. Still anticipating the imminent arrival of the kingdom, an argument started among them as to their place in it. Ironically, while Jesus spoke of His personal suffering, they argued about their personal glory. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Why would they be arguing around the table? Some think the strife was stimulated by the seating arrangements around the table. Obviously not everyone could recline next to Jesus. In fact as discussed above, it appears that Judas was to Jesus' left and John was on the other side (See seating). Remember that the disciples still do not fully comprehend God's plan of salvation. They do not realize He has to die, be resurrected and ascend before He returns to establish His earthly kingdom. And so even after His resurrection they ask “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6+). They still think that Christ's Kingdom is imminent and they desired to be eminent in His coming Kingdom! Are they not a picture of ALL of us? How quickly pride wells up (and swells up) in all of us! 

As Wiersbe says "When you are interested in promoting yourself, it doesn't take much to start an argument." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

John MacArthur feels that "It may have been at this time (THEIR ARGUING OVER WHO WAS GREATEST) that Jesus "rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel,... began to wash the disciples' feet" (John 13:4-5). The Lord specifically explained to the disciples that He had washed their feet "as an example that you also should do as I did to you" (Jn 13:15). Washing another person's feet was normally done by a servant and was considered by most Jews to be the most demeaning of tasks. Jesus' example of humble, selfless service was a stinging rebuke of the disciples' pride and a profound lesson in condescending love. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary

And - This ties the dispute closely to the preceding discussion in Luke 22:21-23. 

There arose also a dispute (literally a love of strife!) among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest (literally greater) - Why are they jostling over who is greatest? Clearly they still do not understand that Jesus is going to die. In Lk 22:18 He had again alluded to the Kingdom of God, but they failed to understand that there would be an interval or delay ( = "the church age," Jesus taught about this delay in story of nobleman - Lk 19:12-13, 15+) before it was set up on earth at His Second Coming which was His real "Triumphal Entry" (Rev 19:11-21+). And so they were arguing among themselves because they had their eyes on the best positions in His theocracy which they thought was imminent (cf Acts 1:6+). It is notable that in Jesus' response in the following passages, He does not say refute their belief in a literal kingdom (cf Lk 22:29+), but even acknowledges that they will rule with Him on 12 thrones (Lk 22:30), presumably each of them as equals with each other and with none greater than the other. If you are of the Preterist persuasion or the Replacement Theology persuasion, passages such as this should cause you great angst!

Dispute (5379)(philoneikia from philos = loving + neikos = strife) means literally a love of contention. An eagerness to contend. Don't you love to be around folks like that! This is the only NT use with uses only in the apocrypha (2 Macc 4:4, 4 Macc 1:26, 4 Macc 8:26).

Gilbrant - Philoneikia appears as early as the Fifth Century B.C. and is used by such writers as Plato, primarily in a bad sense of “contentiousness, love of rivalry” (Liddell-Scott). The term is also used, however, in a good sense of “competition, ambition,” or “the desire to emulate the excellence of another,” especially in the games (ibid.).Papyrus documents in New Testament times employ philoneikia with the primary meaning of “dispute” or “strife.” Philoneikia is the product of a zeal to contend, i.e., a contentious spirit. (Ibid)

John MacArthur suggests when this argument may have arisen - There were several stages in the Passover celebration, spread out over a period of hours and interspersed with conversation. The event opened with a prayer thanking God for His preservation, deliverance, protection, goodness, and blessing. Next came the first of four cups of diluted red wine, known as the cup of blessing. That was followed by a ceremonial washing of the hands, symbolizing the need for cleansing from sin. It was most likely at this point that the disciples began arguing among themselves about who was the greatest (Luke 22:24). In response, Jesus washed their feet (John 13:3-5) and instructed them concerning humility. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Bock - So what makes for greatness? Faithfulness, yes, but even more the service that reveals faithfulness. Amazing as it seems, in the midst of Jesus' revelation about his coming suffering the disciples are fighting over who is number one among them. The text speaks of a "rivalry" (NIV: dispute) breaking out among them. Using the comparative "greater" with a superlative force, the disciples want to know who God puts at the top of the Best Disciple list. (See Luke - Page 351)

D L Moody - To me, one of the saddest things in all the life of Jesus Christ was the fact that just before His crucifixion, His disciples should have been striving to see who should be the greatest. It was His last night on earth, and they never saw Him so sorrowful before. He knew Judas was going to sell Him for thirty pieces of silver. He knew that Peter would deny Him. And yet, in addition to this, when going into the very shadow of the cross, there arose this strife as to who should be the greatest.

He took a towel and girded Himself like a slave, and He took a basin of water and stooped and washed their feet. That was another object lesson of humility. He said, “Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say well.” If you want to be great in My Kingdom, be servant of all. If you serve, you shall be great.

Steven Cole - Illustration - Former world heavyweight boxing champ, Muhammad Ali, was known for often bragging, “I’m the greatest.” Just before take-off on an airline flight, the stewardess reminded Ali to fasten his seatbelt. “Superman don’t need no seatbelt,” Ali told her. The stewardess retorted, “Superman don’t need no airplane, either.” Ali fastened his seatbelt. (The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, ed. by Clifton Fadimon [Little, Brown] p. 14.)

No one would mistake Muhammad Ali’s braggadocio as a Christian virtue. Humility and selflessness are to mark the believer in Jesus Christ. Since we all know this, it seems incredible that the apostles would get into this silly debate over which of them was the greatest, especially when you consider the setting: the Last Supper, the night before Jesus would go to the cross. The Lord had just announced that one of the twelve would betray Him. The disciples had responded by discussing who would do such a thing, and with each one asking, “Surely, not I?” (Mk 14:19). Perhaps this led someone to say, “I know that I’m not a likely candidate.” Someone else said, “Me, neither!” Another said, “Well, it couldn’t be me?” “Why not? Do you think you’re better than the rest of us?” From there, things heated up quickly.

This wasn’t the first time that the twelve had gotten into this sort of silly debate. They had argued about the same matter while they walked at some distance from Jesus, thinking that He couldn’t hear what they were discussing (Mk 9:33-37). But He knew what they were discussing and used the occasion to teach them about childlike humility. On another occasion, the mother of James and John had come to Jesus to ask that her sons could sit on His right and left in the kingdom. The other disciples were indignant (Mk 10:35-45). What right had these two brothers to claim the top spots in the kingdom? Jesus taught them that the greatest should become the servant and the one who wished to be first should be the slave of all, adding, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

But in spite of these repeated lessons, here they were again, right on the eve of the Lord’s death, arguing over which of them was the greatest! This shows us that although we can have this lesson in our heads, it takes a while to put it into practice. We just think that we’ve learned it once and for all when someone does something to bug us and we think, “I’m a better servant of Christ than he is!” Although we may not get into a verbal debate, the thought of our heart is, “I’m greater than he is!” So we all have to keep coming back to this fundamental lesson:

The greatest in God’s sight are those who humbly serve. This is a lesson that all who are actively serving Christ must continually apply. But it also applies to Christians who are sitting on the bench, not engaged in serving the Lord. The Bible clearly teaches that every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift and is to employ it in serving one another (1Pe 4:10). Being a servant of Christ is more than just signing up to teach Sunday School or to do some other job at the church. Being a servant is a mindset, where each day you make yourself available to Christ and ask Him to use you in His service in whatever ways He chooses. It may be to speak a word about the Savior to someone who needs Him. It may be to offer cheerful help to someone in need. It may be to listen to a person who needs sympathy or understanding. But whatever the job, your daily attitude is, “Lord, here I am. Use me as Your servant.” If you’re not living in that way, then you are living for self, not for Christ. ( Who's the Greatest? Luke 22:24-30)

Luke 22:25   And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.'

BGT  Luke 22:25 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οἱ βασιλεῖς τῶν ἐθνῶν κυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ ἐξουσιάζοντες αὐτῶν εὐεργέται καλοῦνται.

KJV  Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

NET  Luke 22:25 So Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them are called 'benefactors.'

CSB  Luke 22:25 But He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles dominate them, and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.'

ESV  Luke 22:25 And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors.

NIV  Luke 22:25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.

NLT  Luke 22:25 Jesus told them, "In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called 'friends of the people.'

NRS  Luke 22:25 But he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors.

YLT  Luke 22:25 And he said to them, 'The kings of the nations do exercise lordship over them, and those exercising authority upon them are called benefactors;

GWN  Luke 22:25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of nations have power over their people, and those in authority call themselves friends of the people.

NKJ  Luke 22:25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called`benefactors.'

NAB  Luke 22:25 He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as 'Benefactors';

Related Passages:

Matthew 20:25-28 20 (THIS WAS THE SAME PROBLEM OCCURRING AT A DIFFERENT TIME) Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.” 23 He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”  24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:35-45+ (THIS WAS THE SAME PROBLEM OCCURRING AT A DIFFERENT TIME)  James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, *came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.” 36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37 They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”  39 They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.  Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John. 42 Calling them to Himself, Jesus *said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 “But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”


Luke does not record Jesus' instructive example of servanthood in John 13:1-11, but most think that it probably preceded Jesus' explanation of true greatness. 

The other synoptic gospels record a similar discussion by Jesus but in a different context (not the Lord's Supper). (Mt 20:25-28 = see context Mt 20:20-24, Mark 10:41-45). Clearly this was a recurrent problem with the fleshly disciples.

And He said to them - Jesus immediately addresses the argument among the disciples. Matthew 20:25 has "But Jesus called them to Himself and said" which makes an important point that Jesus sensed pride beginning to raise its ugly head (see Mt 20:20-24) and so the first thing He does is summon all the Twelve to Himself. Gilbrant writes "This is always the first step toward unity and understanding. Believers must gather around Jesus and let Him speak. This can be done through His written Word." How do you address pride (and resultant divisiveness) in your church?

Satan is always fomenting our pride. And the best response is to gather around the Word and pray the Word (Jn 1:1, Rev 19:13) as a group. That's the next best thing to having a personal audience with Jesus. My daughter has a friend who is a leader in the church and whose marriage is experiencing severe testing. When several of the women she knew agreed to come over to her home and pray for this woman and her spousal strife, the Spirit laid on my daughter's heart to lead the time of prayer so that it was somewhat structured. She is a reluctant leader, but obeyed and sent all the ladies Scriptures to ponder before they gathered, asking them to bring other Scriptures to the prayer meeting. The upshot is that it was a wonderful time of hearing the voice of Jesus via the Spirit and the Word and all participants sensed God's favor on the meeting.

Wiersbe explains that "The Romans in particular vied for honors and did all they could, legally and illegally, to win promotion and recognition, but they are not the examples for us to follow. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Stein - Even as membership in the kingdom is the reverse of how the world thinks, for the last have become first and the first last (Lk 13:30+), so too greatness within the kingdom is the reverse of how the world thinks. In this world the first (kings) rule and exercise their authority over the last (their subjects). Great people in this world are served by others under them. But Jesus had not come to be served but rather to serve. (NAC Luke)

The kings of the Gentiles (ethne) lord (kurieuo) it over them - Jesus contrasts great leadership in the world versus truly great leadership in His kingdom. In other words the unsaved world thinks of greatness in terms of rule over others. In Jesus' day virtually all governments were some form of dictatorship or theocracy and these individuals typified "greatness" to the lost world (and still do!) In Mt 20:25 Jesus said "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them" where the word for lord over is katakurieuo which is stronger than kurieuo used here by Luke, because the prefix "kata" (down) conveys the sense of ruling down on one's subjects ("to play the tyrant" would be a good paraphrase). Indeed, many of the ancient governments were very tyrannical. Sadly even leaders in Christian organizations can not resist the temptation to use their power, lording it over those under them! Jesus is saying that this should not be so! Dear pastor-leader, how are you doing? Lording it over others or laying down your life for others? Do not be deceived, for only the latter will bring you an eternal crown (cf 1 Pe 5:1-4+)!

What Jesus is doing here is showing the disciples that their desires (ambitions) for greatness were like the godless rulers of this passing world (1 Jn 2:17+). As Gilbrant says "This desire (ED: FLESHLY LUST) for worldly greatness causes people to try to dominate others. It makes them demand proper honor and fancy titles. They love to play the tyrant and lord it over those less fortunate than they. They try to maintain their superiority and power by violent oppression. Such is the greatness of this world—full of arbitrary arrogance and as temporary as it is empty." 

And those who have authority over (exousiazothem are called Benefactors (euergetes) - Those who continually have the right and the might to exercise control, power or mastery over others are still recognized as "Benefactors" especially for their civic contributions. But the other side of "Benefactors" is these men were egocentric and sought to "beat their own drum" so to speak.

Deissmann says of the use of the title Benefactors -"It would not be difficult to collect from inscriptions....over a hundred instances, so widespread was the custom"

Hendriksen - Jesus again showed these men that their egotism was a worldly, pagan trait. It reminded one of the self-centeredness of "the kings of the Gentiles." These men, while exercising their authority ruthlessly, nevertheless took delight in being called Benefactors!How very true! On a denarius was not Augustus called "god"? On a copper coin was not Tiberius described as "one who deserved to be adored"? But, more to the point, had not the very title Benefactor (or Welldoer), Euergetes, been ascribed to both Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II? (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

David Guzik comments that "The idea of being called benefactors is really the idea of getting credit. Many people only will serve if they can be assured of getting proper credit."

Life Application Bible Commentary – The world's system of leadership varies greatly from leadership in God's kingdom. Worldly leaders are often selfish and arrogant as they claw their way to the top. Benefactor was a title used in the Greek and Roman societies for princes, Roman emperors, and the gods. It was a reciprocal relationship in that the clients who received support from the benefactors were required to recognize their authority and give public adulation to the benefactor. But among Christians, the leader is to be the one who serves best. There are different styles of leadership—some lead through public speaking, some through administering, some through relationships. Whatever the style, every Christian leader needs a servant's heart. (See Life Application New Testament Commentary)

Gentiles (nations) (1484)(ethnos gives us our word "ethnic") in general refers to a multitude (especially persons) associated with one another, living together, united in kinship, culture or traditions and summed up by the words nation, Gentiles (especially when ethnos is plural), people (much like "people groups" in our modern missionary vernacular).

Luke's uses of Gentiles in his Gospel  -Lk. 2:32; Lk. 7:5; Lk. 12:30; Lk. 18:32; Lk. 21:10; Lk. 21:24; Lk. 21:25; Lk. 22:25; Lk. 23:2; Lk. 24:47; 

Lord over (master) (2961)(kurieuo from noun kurios = master - power of control rather than physical strength) means to rule or have dominion over and speaks of individuals who exercise authority or have control over others (Lk 22:25, Ro 14:9, 2 Co 1:24). Scripture personifies various things which control human life including law (Ro 7:1), Sin (Ro 6:14) and death (Ro 6:9). The present tense speaks of continual exercise of lordship of kings over their subjects.

Have authority (1850)(exousiazo from exousia = the right and the might) means to exercise authority over others. The idea is that one who has the right or power and thus is able to do with something or someone as he sees fit. In 1 Co. 6:12+ it refers to Christians giving up their rights. Although "all things are lawful," there are limitations, so that what is possible, is not necessarily best. Gilbrant adds that "If the Christian is free to do all things, he is still not free to sin. Limitations to a Christian's liberty are set by consequences and what is right." 

Exousiazo is used two other times in the NT

1 Co. 6:12+ All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 

1 Co. 7:4+  "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."

MacArthur - Spouses' mutual authority over each other's bodies is continuous; it lasts throughout marriage. In the normal realms of life, a Christian's body is his own, to take care of and to use as a gift from God. And in the deepest spiritual sense, of course, it belongs entirely to God (Rom. 12:1+). But in the marital realm, it also belongs to the marriage partner. (See 1 Corinthians Commentary)

Gilbrant - In the Septuagint exousiazō is used to refer to someone who is over or under the authority of another. In 1 Samuel 3:1 it refers to Samuel ministering under Eli, and in Nehemiah 5:15 the word takes this meaning in a negative sense to refer to authorities “lording it over the people.” Exousiazō also refers to supremacy in a more general sense, especially in Ecclesiastes: a person has control over another’s work (Eccl 2:19); “a king’s word is supreme” (Eccl 8:4NIV); and a wise man’s words “are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools” (Eccl 9:17NIV)

Exousiazo - 13x in 13v in the Septuagint - Ezr. 7:24; Neh. 5:15; Neh. 9:37; Eccl. 2:19; Eccl. 5:19; Eccl. 6:2; Eccl. 7:19; Eccl. 8:4; Eccl. 8:8; Eccl. 8:9; Eccl. 9:17; Eccl. 10:4; Eccl. 10:5;

Benefactors (2110)(euergetes from eu = good + ergon = work) is used only here in the NT and denotes those who "do good" or confer benefits. A benefactor is a "helper of the people," a person who helps people or institutions (especially with financial help). This title was even bestowed on tyrants (2 Macc 4:2; 3 Macc 3:19; Josephus, J. W. 3.9.8)

Gilbrant on euergetes - This is a princely title or the title of an important person meaning “benefactor.” In classical Greek the word is a regular title. It is used in a petition to the prefect; to refer to emperors and a king; and with reference to Gaius, the physician to Emperor Claudius....Only Christ can rightly be called euergetēs because of who He is and what He does (cf. Acts 10:38). Betram states, “The proper position of men as mediators of the divine benefits is that of servants” (Luke 22:26) (“euergetēs,” Kittel, 2:654f.). (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Exegetical Dictionary of the New TestamentEuergetes is attested frequently in Hellenism as a title of rulers and other prominent persons (philosophers, discoverers, physicians), also in inscriptions and also on coins....The true Benefactor of mankind (JESUS) forbids His disciples from calling themselves euergatai (Luke 22:25f.). The formulation presupposes that worldly bearers of the title in reality exercise sovereignty and power over the people. However, one who is greatest in the community of Jesus should distinguish himself  by serving according to the model of Jesus (Lk 6:27) and should not strive for recognition and titles (cf. Mt 23:6-12).

Luke 22:26   "But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.

KJV Luke 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

  • Luke 9:48; Mt 18:3-5; Mt 23:8-12; Romans 12:2; 1 Peter 5:3; 3John 1:9,10
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Matthew 23:8-12 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11“But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.


But (alla) is a term of contrast. What is Jesus contrasting? He is contrasting the way of greatness of the world with the way of greatness of His disciples. 

It is not this way with you - Literally "not this." You is emphatic. He is calling His disciples to the opposite mindset.

Jesus inverts the world's idea of greatness! To them it looks upside down, when in truth it is really right side up! Disciples are not to do as the world does. The world's "greatness" is soon short lived. Christlike greatness will stand the test of time and eternity. 

Wiersbe writes "True greatness means to be like Jesus, and that means being a servant to others. A servant does not argue over who is the greatest, because he knows that he is the least, and he accepts this from the hand of God. Since all Christians are to be servants, there is no reason for us to compete with one another for honors and recognition. It is too bad that this competitive spirit is so strong in the church today as people promote themselves and their ministries as "the greatest." (See The Wiersbe Bible Commentary or Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

MacArthur notes that "The world's way of greatness is like a pyramid. The prestige and power of the great person is built on the many subordinate persons beneath him. But in the kingdom, the pyramid is inverted. As the great commentator R. C. H. Lenski has observed, God's "great men are not sitting on top of lesser men, but bearing lesser men on their backs." Unfortunately, however, there are still many people in the church who continually seek recognition, prestige, and power by manipulating and controlling others to their own selfish advantage. A tragic number of Christian leaders and celebrities have gained great followings by appealing to people's emotions and worldly appetites. But that is not to be so among Christ's disciples today any more than among the Twelve. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest - The youngest have the least claim to ruling over others. The youngest is considered the least in the oriental family hierarchy. The younger generally serve the older. Jesus gives the simple, clear "formula" for greatness. It needs little explanation, but much emulation! It is not a suggestion, but a commandment that is to be practiced all our lives (only possible as we rely on the enabling power of the Spirit). Jesus says the disciple who is truly great is the one who is humble.

And the leader like the servant (a verb used as a noun = diakoneo in the present tense - one's lifestyle) - (CSB = "whoever leads, like the one serving") Jesus inverts the world's idea of greatness before God. In short here Jesus is saying that church leaders should be servants.

THOUGHT - The real leader is the servant leader and that is why he is a great leader. Dear leader, does this describe His ministry through you to the saints? 

NET Note - Leadership was not to be a matter of privilege and special status, but of service. All social status is leveled out by these remarks. Jesus himself is the prime example of the servant-leader. 

Servant (minister, table waiter) (1247) (diakoneo) is the verb here used as a noun which means to wait on. It is lowly word with men, but a lofty word with God!

THOUGHT - Diakoneo here is in the present tense indicating this is one's lifestyle, not an occasional endeavor! Convicted? I hope so, for I sure am! We are to be like those who wait on tables and remember our "tip" for waiting on the table comes on "pay day" from God and is a "tip" that endures throughout eternity. Upshot? Table waiting is a privilege which allows us in the Spirit to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. If your treasure is on earth, you are less likely to seek to be a servant, but instead to have others serve you. See Vertical Vision

Vincent's note on two common NT words for servant - Doulos, perhaps from deo, to bind, is the bondman, representing the permanent relation of servitude. Diakonos, probably from the same root as dioko, to pursue, represents a servant, not in his relation, but in his activity. The term covers both slaves and hired servants. The attendants at the feast at Cana (John 2:5) are called diakonoi. In the epistles diakonos is often used specifically for a minister of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 3:7). The word deacon is, moreover, almost a transcription of it (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 12). It is applied to Phoebe (Romans 16:1). (Word Studies in the New Testament.

TRUE GREATNESS - Most people occasionally dream of being great in the eyes of the world. In those dreams, they imagine themselves as famous, wealthy, powerful, sought-after. Perhaps they see themselves having meetings with presidents and prime ministers, shielding their eyes from the glare of the television cameras, capturing the attention of the world through their accomplishments and reputation. There is nothing wrong about having such dreams, of course, but Jesus' definition of greatness has very little to do with any of that. Jesus said greatness is defined in terms of servanthood and humility—quite a contrast from the world's idea. If by God's grace you attain any greatness in the eyes of the world, thank him for it. But never forget that those who are great in God's eyes are those who forget about themselves and give themselves away to others in Jesus' name. - Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke.

Luke 22:27   "For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

KJV Luke 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

  • Luke 12:37; 17:7-9; Mt 20:28; John 13:5-16; 2 Cor 8:9; Philippians 2:7,8
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Turn the tables is a modern idiom which means to reverse one's position relative to someone else, especially by turning a position of disadvantage (diakonos, diakoneo) into one of advantage (greatness).This title is a play on the Greek word Jesus uses here (diakoneo) which was a verb depicting a servant who waited on tables, who waited on those who were reclining at the tables, those who in the world's eyes were the "greatest!" The disciples wanted to be like those who reclined at the table and thus were arguing who was the greatest (Lk 22:24), who would sit at the head of the table so to speak. Jesus turns the tables on them, so to speak! 

For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? - Jesus asks and then answers His own rhetorical question, the second question in Greek expecting a positive reply. The one who reclines at the table is the host or the guest while the one who serves is the slave. And Jesus says of course the world says that the one who reclines at the table is the one who is great and by implication the one who is serves is not great. 

Darrell Bock - In the ancient world the greater person sits at table while the lesser person serves the meal (see Luke 17:7-10+). (See Luke)

David Guzik - The world regards the one who is served as greater, but Jesus showed us that true greatness is in serving, more than in being served. Cultures have always envied the person whom others serve. In ancient China, rich people sometimes grew long, long fingernails, so long they could do nothing for themselves – and this was seen as a sign of status.. But the people who are really great in our lives are the servants. If the President took a month off, no one would really miss it; but if all the trash collectors in the country took the month off, we would notice. Jesus is trying to re-arrange our thinking, our priorities. (Enduring Word Bible Commentary)

But is a term of contrast. Again Jesus is contrasting the world's depiction of greatness with God's definition of greatness. The way up in God's kingdom is down. 

Robertson But I (Egō de). Jesus dares to cite his own conduct, though their leader, to prove his point and to put a stop to their jealous contention for the chief place at this very feast, a wrangling that kept up till Jesus had to arise and give them the object lesson of humility by washing their feet (John 13:1-20). (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

I am among you as the one who serves - Jesus presents Himself as the example of true servant hood which contrasts with the world's picture of greatness. He is saying that He is one who serves and by implication that is what constitutes true greatness in the eyes of God. Jesus' example is the standard for His disciple. We are to imitate Jesus' example of "washing feet" (John 13:1-17). Seek to serve, not to be served.

Morgan - Jesus did not mean that if you serve in a lowly place, you will be always be given a great place. He meant that in God’s eyes, the lowly place is the great place. “Service given, not gained, is the true greatness, for it is the sign of real fellowship with the Lord Himself.”

Serves (waits on) (1247)(diakoneo) was waiting on tables (Lk 17:8, Jn 12:2) and was undignified to the Greeks. An astonishing, unimaginable reversal takes place when the returning master (the Lord Jesus Christ Himself) rewards his servants by waiting (diakoneo) on them (Luke 12:37+). That day will be like the night in John 13:4-17. Once again as so often in the Christian life, we see the paradoxical truth that the way up is down, a truth our fallen flesh will fight against until the day we fall asleep in Jesus or are raptured! (See Spiritual Paradox in the Christian Life)

Jesus used diakoneo in John 12:26 (NOTE THE KEY WORD!) giving us all a conditional promise that "If (third class condition = potential action, there is a note of indefiniteness) anyone serves (diakoneo in present tense - as our lifestyle!) Me, let him follow (akoloutheo = IN HIS STEPS, AS HIS DISCIPLE! IN the present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) Me; and where I am, there shall My servant (diakonos - Whose servant? Who is our Master?) also be (IN HIS PRESENCE); if (third class condition) anyone serves (diakoneo in present tense - as our lifestyle!) Me, the Father will honor (timao) him (cf 1Pe 1:7)."

Bob Utley has an interesting comment on John 12:26 - This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE which speaks of an ongoing relationship (cf John 15). This is the neglected biblical issue of perseverance. This issue is often confused by the theological tension between a Sovereign God and human volition. However, it is best to see salvation as a covenental experience. God always initiates (cf. John 6:44, 65) and sets the agenda, but He also demands that mankind respond to His offer in repentance and faith (cf. Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21), both as an initial decision and a lifelong discipleship. Perseverance is evidence that we know Him (ED: See  Mt. 10:22; 13:20–21; Mt 24:13,Mk 13:13, Lk 8:15, Heb 3:6, 14, Heb 10:39, Rev 2:10, Gal. 6:9; 1Jn 2:19; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Christian doctrine, being Bible-based, often comes in paradoxical, tension-filled pairs. Eastern literature is characterized by this figurative, contrasting thought patterns. Often modern western readers force the paradoxes into either/or choices when they are meant to be both/and truths. (See Spiritual Paradox in the Christian Life)

As noted above, but worth repeating as it is such a mind boggling truth, Jesus uses diakoneo to speak of Himself when He returns in Luke 12:37+ "Blessed are those slaves (doulos) whom the master will find on the alert (O, TO BE FOUND ON THE ALERT TO NOT MISS THIS BLESSING!!!) when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve (ADDED TO TRANSLATION), and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait (diakoneo) on them."!!! The upshot? Stay alert as His willing doulos

Play the old chorus Do You Want to be Great in God's Kingdom (and then practice it empowered by the Holy Spirit and Holy Word) - 

If you wanna be great in God's kingdom,
Learn to be the servant of all.
If you wanna be great in God's kingdom,
Learn to be the servant of all.
Learn to be the servant of all.
Learn to be the servant of all.

This teaching echoes Mt 20:28 where Jesus said "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom (lutron/lytron) for many.” Jesus entire life and mission was shaped by His commitment to serve, not to be served. His ultimate act of service of course was the giving of His life on the Cross and for His disciples, service often entails "death to self."

Life Application Commentary - Being a "servant" did not mean occupying a servile position; rather, it meant having an attitude of life that freely attended to others' needs without expecting or demanding anything in return.

Morgan - “The very greatness of God is finally demonstrated, not in the height and the glory of His eternal throne, but in the depth and grace of His amazing stoop to our humanity and to the death of the Cross.”

Spurgeon - ‘King of kings’ is a title full of majesty, but ‘servant of servants’ is the name which our Lord preferred when he was here below.” 

David Guzik has a practical comment - Living as a servant really is the best way to live. We are no longer concerned for our own honor and credit; we don’t walk around with hurt feelings and disappointed expectations, because all we want to do is to serve. We can always do what we want to do, because we can always serve somehow. (Enduring Word Bible Commentary )

Luke 22:28   "You are those who have stood by Me in My trials;

KJV Luke 22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.

  • Mt 19:28,29; 24:13; John 6:67,68; 8:31; Acts 1:25; Hebrews 2:18; 4:15
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


You are those who have stood by Me in My trials (cf Lk 9:58) -  What is Jesus affirming? The faithfulness of His men (cf Paul's call to the type of men Timothy was to seek out in 2 Ti 2:2+ = "entrust these [truth Paul taught Timothy] to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."). Presumably Judas had already gone off into the night into the power of darkness ultimately heading for eternal darkness!

Don't miss what Jesus is teaching here - as His disciples we all fail just like the first 11 failed, but in spite of their failures Jesus says He will honor their faithfulness, and He will honor our faithfulness in spite of our failures. When we fail (which we will) we need to arise and go to Jesus and confess our failure and accept His amazing mercy and forgiveness. The writer of Proverbs says "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion (mercy)." (Pr 28:13+)

Have stood (continued) (1265)(diameno from dia = intensifies meaning + meno = to remain or abide) means to remain permanently (dia = through so "to remain through" is the idea) or to continue in the same place or condition (cf Lk 1:22+). When diameno is used to describe people as in this passage it means to remain constant or to stand by. The perfect tense signifies they had begun in the past to stand with Jesus and remained standing with Him. This is interesting in that they would soon temporarily flee out of fear of the authorities, but they would return and remain standing, tradition recording that all except John doing so to the point of martyrdom. Are you standing with Christ? Of course ultimately we can stand with Him because His Spirit in us enables us to stan. Jude writes "Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy." (Jude 1:24+)

In John 6 we see a contrasting response among those who followed Jesus

As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter (WHO DENIED HIM TEMPORARILY) answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.(John 6:66-68). 

Trials (Temptations) (3986)(peirasmos from peirazo = to make trial of, try, tempt, prove in either a good or bad sense - classic Greek of a medical test to prove health or disease. See also Detzler) describes first the idea of putting to the test and then refers to the tests or pressures that come in order to discover a person’s nature or the quality of some thing.  The key to accurately interpreting the meaning of peirasmos is to carefully examine the context to see if the effect of the peirasmos is to lead one into sin (then it is translation "temptation") or for a beneficial effect (then it is usually translated "trial"). Context is the key. 

Robertson - Probably "trials" is better here as in James 1:2 though temptations clearly in James 1:13ff. This is the tragedy of the situation when Jesus is facing the Cross with the traitor at the table and the rest chiefly concerned about their own primacy and dignity.

Hebrews speaks of Jesus' trials/temptations

Heb 2:18+ For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Heb 4:15+ For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Oswald ChambersDo You Continue To Go With Jesus? Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. Luke 22:28.

It is true that Jesus Christ is with us in our temptations, but are we going with Him in His temptations? Many of us cease to go with Jesus from the moment we have an experience of what He can do. Watch when God shifts your circumstances, and see whether you are going with Jesus, or siding with the world, the flesh and the devil. We wear His badge, but are we going with Him? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him.” The temptations of Jesus continued throughout His earthly life, and they will continue throughout the life of the Son of God in us. Are we going with Jesus in the life we are living now? We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things God brings round us. Never! God engineers circumstances, and whatever they may be like we have to see that we face them while abiding continually with Him in His temptations. They are His temptations, not temptations to us, but temptations to the life of the Son of God in us. The honour of Jesus Christ is at stake in your bodily life. Are you remaining loyal to the Son of God in the things which beset His life in you? Do you continue to go with Jesus? The way lies through Gethsemane, through the city gate, outside the camp; the way lies alone, and the way lies until there is no trace of a footstep left, only the voice, “Follow Me.” (My Utmost for Your Highest).

Luke 22:29   and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you

KJV Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

ESV  Luke 22:29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom

NIV  Luke 22:29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me

NKJ  Luke 22:29 "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,

YLT  Luke 22:29 and I appoint to you, as my Father did appoint to me, a kingdom,

  • Luke 12:32; 19:17; Mt 24:47; 25:34; 1 Cor 9:25; 2 Cor 1:7; 2 Ti 2:12; Jas 2:5; 1 Pe 5:4; Rev 21:14
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


And - Jesus links this promise with their faithfulness in Lk 22:28, a promise which continues in the following verse (Lk 22:30). 

Just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you - Jesus is King of the Kingdom granted to Him by His Father and has the right to make a grant to His disciples. The Net Bible translates it "Thus I grant to you a kingdom, just as my Father granted to me." 

NET Note - With the statement "I grant to you a kingdom" Jesus gave the disciples authority over the kingdom, as God had given him such authority. The present tense looks at authority given presently, though the major manifestation of its presence is yet to come as the next verse shows.

David Guzik - Being a servant does not mean that we are unrewarded. Quite the opposite; God’s greatest servants receive the greatest rewards. But a great servant does not serve for the sake of reward, but for the sake of God’s glory.  (Enduring Word Bible Commentary )

Has granted...I grant (1303)(diatithemi from dia = through or as an intensive, root meaning = "two" + tithemi = to place or put) properly means, to place apart, to set in order, to arrange. If one considers the root meaning of dia ("two"), then the definition could be rendered "to place between two" as a covenant which is something that is placed between two, an arrangement between two parties. This verb is used in the NT only in the middle voice.

Barnes - He assures them here that they should have a kingdom - their expectations would be realized. They had continued with him; they had seen how he had lived, and to what trials he had been subjected; they had all along expected a kingdom, and he assures them that they should not be disappointed.

Behm says of this passage: "As the eschatological basileia (kingdom) is ordained for Jesus by the sovereign declaration of the will of God, so it is decided by the sovereign resolve of Jesus that the disciples should reign with Him" (TDNT, 2:105-6).

If Jesus grants them (us) a kingdom, what does that make them (us)? Kings and of course Jesus is "King of kings." (Rev 19:16) Indeed, in the Millennial Kingdom saints will reign with Christ. Jesus goes on to explain to the disciples that they would "sit on thrones judging the twelve (literal) tribes of Israel." (Lk 22:30+). While this Kingdom would be postponed during the Church Age, Jesus' promise emphasizes that it was not cancelled.

Scripture repeatedly speaks of the incredible future promise that all disciples of Jesus will co-rule with Christ during His coming earthly reign (perhaps you need to pause and ponder that incomprehensible thought a moment and let it "buoy" your sagging faith/hope/love) ...

Revelation 1:6+ and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father–to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 2:26+  ‘He who overcomes (WHO OVERCOMES? EVERY GENUINE BELIEVER - cf 1 Jn 5:4-5+), and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

Comment on until the end - For the believer, the end arrives when either we step through the doorway from this life into the presence of God (2 Cor. 5:8) or we remain alive until the coming of the Lord (John 14:3; 1Th. 4:15).

Revelation 3:21+  ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Revelation 5:10+You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” 

Revelation 20:6+   Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Romans 5:17+  For if by the transgression of the one (ADAM), death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 

2 Timothy 2:12+  If we endure (cf "he who keeps My deeds until the end" = Rev 2:26+), we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us (NOT A LOSS OF ETERNAL REWARDS AS SOME FALSELY TEACH BUT A LOSS OF ETERNAL LIFE! THEY WERE NEVER SAVED!) 

Luke 22:30   that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

KJV Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

  • that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom  Luke 22:16-18; 12:37; 14:15; 2 Samuel 9:9,10; 19:28; Mt 8:11; Revelation 19:9
  • you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel Ps 49:14; Mt 19:28; 1 Cor 6:2,3; Revelation 2:26,27; 3:21; 4:4; *Gr:
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


This verse continues the grant Jesus begins in Lk 22:29, beginning this clause with hina which identifies a purpose in what follows. Always pause to observe and interrogate this important term of purpose. 

That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

It is interesting an worthy of note that the description you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel is somewhat glossed over or even completely ignored by commentators that have replaced Israel with the church! The church is never described as "the twelve tribes of Israel.The twelve tribes of Israel means the twelve literal tribes of Israel. God is not finished with the twelve tribes of Israel, and so it should not come as surprise that just before Jesus returns in triumph in Revelation 19, John mentions them in Revelation 7:4-8

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:  5 from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,  6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,  7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,  8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

Comment: The ESV Study Bible makes an amazing comment writing that the 12 tribes mentioned "have symbolic significance, representing the church."  When one espouses to the false teaching that the church replaces the literal nation of Israel, it is absolutely shocking how far a proponent of replacement theology will go to try to keep their house of cards interpretation from crashing down! To even suggest that the 12 literal names of Jewish tribes are the church is preposterous! Beloved, interpretation of the Revelation is not just difficult but impossible if one begins to interpret "uncomfortable passages" symbolically. On the other hand, while not every detail of John's description is easy to interpret, the overall message is straightforward if one approaches the text as a little child and simply reads in a literal, normal manner. 

Thus the ESV Study Bible has a note that simply records (and does so accurately) Jesus' promises to His twelve disciples writing...

Jesus’ claim that messianic banquet is My table and that the kingdom of God is My kingdom would be seen as audacious if it were not true. The 12 disciples would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes (though Judas was later replaced by Matthias; Acts 1:26). (ESV Study Bible, The: English Standard Version)

Even the Reformation Study Bible which does not accept a literal Messianic Kingdom on earth writes "They are promised a wonderful future that includes judging the tribes of Israel (v. 30)." Now, that is an honest "interpretation," based on what a literal reading of the text would lead one to conclude.

On the other hand, here is an example of the "hermeneutical gymnastics" by William Hendriksen (and I personally love his commentaries) who seems to perceive the problem a literal reading of Jesus' words creates

"As to “judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” a repetition of the promise Jesus had made earlier (see Mt. 19:28), in all probability he was thinking of the restored new Israel.

Notice that Hendriksen is making a presupposition (an assumption taken as the basis for reaching a conclusion - cf his preface "in all probability") that the context does not suggest, and reads something into the text which Jesus simply does not say. In his comments on Luke 14:24 (page 733) Hendriksen defines "the new Israel, consisting of both Jew and Gentile (Gal 6:16+)." He simply ignores the fact that Jesus is speaking to His Jewish disciples who have followed Him faithfully for 3 years. He is not speaking to the Church or the "the new Israel". Hendriksen then goes on to explain the phrase "the twelve tribes of Israel" writing

"Whether, as such, the term Israel indicates the total number of the elect gathered out of the twelve tribes of the Jews from the beginning to the end of the world’s history (cf. Ro 11:26), or even all the chosen ones of both the Jews and the Gentiles (cf. Gal. 6:16), in either case it must refer to those who have been regenerated, for into the reborn universe to which Matt. 19:28 refers nothing unclean will ever enter (Rev. 21:27)."  (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

To equate "the twelve tribes of Israel" with all "the Jews and the Gentiles" who have been regenerated is a major "hermeneutical" stretch. But this is what one is forced to do if they refuse to accept a simple normative reading of the words of Jesus which are easily interpreted literally if one believes Jesus will establish His Kingdom when He returns as King of kings. See a discussion of Replacement Theology which is in essence what Hendriksen sadly believes will transpire.

Leon Morris who also replaces Israel with the church writes "They will in due course enjoy the Messianic banquet with him. This (with RSV, Rieu, Phillips) appears to be the meaning of the Greek rather than ‘I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me’ (JB; similarly NEB, NIV, GNB). The royal state they will enjoy is expressed rather in their sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, for judging is surely used here in the sense ‘ruling’ (as in the book of Judges). Jesus speaks of all this in the language of covenant. The verbs assign and assigned both render forms of diatithemai, the usual biblical word for the making of a covenant. The glorious future of which Jesus speaks is as sure as the covenant of God." (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

King James Bible Commentary - During the millennial (one thousand years) reign of Christ, the twelve apostles (Matthias probably replaces Judas Iscariot, Acts 1:15-26) will have governmental authority over the regathered twelve tribes of Israel (Jer 23:3-8). These will be literal Jews who live through the Great Tribulation, and perhaps resurrected Old Testament saints as well (Mt 8:11).

Expositor's Bible Commentary - The idea of a messianic banquet is reflected in v. 30 (cf. Lk 13:28–30). Matthew’s parallel to this verse is preceded by a reference to the “renewal of all things” (palingenesia) instead of to the kingdom (Mt 19:28). The parallel in Matthew speaks of twelve thrones, but Luke omits the number, possibly to avoid the problem of Judas’s occupying one of them. Since Luke does specify that there are twelve tribes, the omission is not important. (On the role of the Son of Man and the saints in judgment, see Da 7:9–18.) Specific designation of the number of tribes of Israel with respect to their future role does not appear again in the NT until Revelation 7:1–8. The concern for the twelve (tribes) appears, however, in Acts 1:12–26, where one finds the extended discussion of the attempt to fill out the number “twelve” due to the betrayal and death of Judas.

Luke 22:31   "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded [permission] to sift you like wheat;

KJV Luke 22:31 And the Lord said (PREVIOUS WORDS NOT IN MODERN MANUSCRIPTS), Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

BGT  Luke 22:31 Σίμων Σίμων, ἰδοὺ ὁ σατανᾶς ἐξῃτήσατο ὑμᾶς τοῦ σινιάσαι ὡς τὸν σῖτον·

BGM  Luke 22:31 Σίμων@nvmsp Σίμων@nvmsp ἰδού@i ὁ@dnms Σατανᾶς@nnmsp ἐξαιτέω@viam3s σύ@rpa-p ὁ@dgns σινιάζω@vnaa ὡς@cs ὁ@dams σῖτος@namsc

NET  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat,

CSB  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.

ESV  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,

NIV  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

NLT  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.

NRS  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,

YLT  Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, lo, the Adversary did ask you for himself to sift as the wheat,

GWN  Luke 22:31 Then the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to have you apostles for himself. He wants to separate you from me as a farmer separates wheat from husks.

NKJ  Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

NAB  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,

MIT  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, pay attention. The opponent asked for you, to sift you as one does wheat.

NJB  Luke 22:31 'Simon, Simon! Look, Satan has got his wish to sift you all like wheat;

ASV  Luke 22:31 Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat:

DBY  Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to have you, to sift you as wheat;

BBE  Luke 22:31 Simon, Simon, Satan has made a request to have you, so that he may put you to the test as grain is tested:

NIRV  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon! Satan has asked to sift you disciples like wheat.

RSV  Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,

RWB  Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

WEB  Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired {to have} you, that he may sift {you} as wheat:

BYZ  Luke 22:31 Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ κύριος, Σίμων, Σίμων, ἰδού, ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐξῃτήσατο ὑμᾶς, τοῦ σινιάσαι ὡς τὸν σῖτον·

  • Simon Luke 10:41; Acts 9:4
  • Satan Job 1:8-11; 2:3-6; Zechariah 3:1; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10
  • sift Amos 9:9
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Parallel passage in Matthew and Mark is on the Mount of Olives that took place later than the conversations in John and Luke:

Matthew 26:30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  31 Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’ 32  “But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter *said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.

Mark 14:26+ After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  27 And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.’ 28 “But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 29 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” 30 And Jesus *said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” 31 But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all were saying the same thing also.

Parallel passage in John is still in the Upper Room as is the passage recorded by Luke:

John 13:36 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” 37 Peter *said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Jesus *answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.


Only Luke records Satan's demanding permission to sift Peter. This is an important passage to help us understand that Satan can ONLY go so far and can only operate within the parameters and limitations set by God Almighty! Yes, the enemy is continually assaulting believers (2Co 12:7, 1Th 2:18, 2Co 2:11, 1Pe 5:8), but he does so on a "divine leash" so to speak! We see that same truth specifically described in Satan's attack on Job...

Job 1:12 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:5-6 However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” 6So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” 

Simon, Simon, behold, (idou) Satan (satanas) has demanded (exaiteo) [permission] to sift (siniazo) you like wheat (sitos) - TEV paraphrases it "Satan has received permission to test all of you, to separate the good from the bad, as a farmer separates the wheat from the chaff’ ” This is a prophecy by Jesus that would be fulfilled before the night was over! Jesus speaking one's name once would have been enough, but just to make sure He has Peter's attention He calls it out twice. And notably He does not call him Peter which means "Rock!" How many times does Jesus need to call your name to gain your attention? Behold conveys the sense "Pay Attention! Watch Out! Don't miss what I am about to say!  The idea in this context is "Look out!" or "Heads up!" The test is coming in the form of a demonically inspired and instituted temptation. Are your spiritual defenses continually engaged dear Gospel warrior? (cf Eph 6:12-18+). Forewarned should have meant Peter would be forearmed, but such was not to be the case this fateful night! Peter's fall after forewarning begs the question "How do you (I) respond when Jesus says "Pay Attention?" Do you? Or does it go in one ear and out the other?" 

John MacArthur - Satan had been assaulting Peter, at least as far back as his foolish attempt to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross (Matt. 16:22-23). Despite having given him the name Peter (Mark 3:16), Jesus almost always addressed him as Simon, the lone exception being here in Lk 22:34. Since Peter so often acted like his old self, Jesus usually addressed him by his old name. The twofold intensive repetition, Simon, Simon, reveals pathos, disappointment, and sadness on the Lord’s part over his behavior. (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Has demanded means to request urgently and forcefully and in the middle voice gives it a "reflexive" sense, specifically signifying that Satan was demanding Peter (and the other saints) for himself! Permission is added by the NAS but is not in the text. Satan had already made one unsuccessful attempt to use Peter to dissuade Jesus  from going to the cross (Mt. 16:22-23).

Mark it down that Satan or his minions can never attack Peter or us without God’s consent. 

The pronoun you is in the plural (but singular in Lk 22:32) so Jesus is addressing Peter as the representative, for Satan's desire was to sift all of the saints (and that includes you beloved disciple!). In fact Jesus amplified this prophecy in Mt 26:31 declaring "You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’ (quoting Zech 13:7+). So in effect all 11 disciples were "sifted."  To sift you like wheat gives a vivid picture for it refers to repeated, swift, violent shaking (of wheat) in a sieve. Now think of Simon being sifted! You (humas) is a second person plural pronoun referring to all of the disciples! And by way of application this would apply to us as Jesus' disciples. Of course, it won't be Satan himself sifting us, but it will be one of his henchmen! Like wheat (term of comparison specifically a simile as identified by the preceding by "like" or "as") that would be easily comprehended in this agrarian culture. 

THOUGHT - You can rest assured that "Satan is determined to destroy your life, your marriage, your family, your testimony, your ministry, and the list goes on!" D L Moody said "THERE is no one beyond the reach of the tempter. Keep that in mind. Life may run smoothly for a while, but the testing time is coming."

The Devil's sieve rejects the good and preserves the bad.
-- James Smith

How appropriate that Peter was a writer who warned the saints about Satan's tireless desire to sift us in his first letter, writing out of personal experience charging believers to "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. (both commands in aorist imperative = Do not delay! It is urgent!) Your adversary, the devil, prowls around (continually - present tense) like a roaring lion, seeking (he is looking for a weak spot in your "armor") someone to devour." (1Pe 5:8+)

J C Ryle - There is something very awful in this expression. It shows us that the devil is often “desiring” to accomplish our ruin, and striving to accomplish it, while we know nothing of his doings, because he is invisible. On the other hand, there is some comfort in the expression. It teaches us that Satan can do nothing without God’s permission. However great his “desire” to do mischief, he works in chains.

Alan Carr writes that sifting "is an agricultural term that refers to the savage process of separating the husk of the wheat from the grain. The wheat was crushed under foot, then it was agitated, or thrown into the air. The chaff, or husk, was blown away by the wind and all that was left behind was the good grain. Satan wanted to tear the heart of God by proving that there was no reality to the faith of the disciples. Satan believed that he could crush them, sift them and that nothing would be left but a lost heart. He had already done this with Judas! He believed that he could do it to the rest."  (Alan Carr)

Bob Utley - Sifting was a process of (1) shaking grain through a strainer to remove dirt and small stones and other impurities before preparing it to eat or (2) separating the grain from the chaff by winnowing. Here it is metaphorical of a time of testing.

Behold (Pay Attention! Watch Out!)(2400)(idou) is used to grab the hearer's (or reader's) attention.

Idou uses in Luke - Lk. 1:20; Lk. 1:31; Lk. 1:36; Lk. 1:38; Lk. 1:44; Lk. 1:48; Lk. 2:10; Lk. 2:34; Lk. 2:48; Lk. 5:12; Lk. 6:23; Lk. 7:27; Lk. 7:34; Lk. 9:30; Lk. 10:3; Lk. 10:19; Lk. 11:31; Lk. 11:32; Lk. 11:41; Lk. 13:7; Lk. 13:16; Lk. 13:30; Lk. 13:32; Lk. 13:35; Lk. 14:2; Lk. 15:29; Lk. 17:21; Lk. 17:23; Lk. 18:28; Lk. 18:31; Lk. 19:8; Lk. 19:20; Lk. 22:10; Lk. 22:21; Lk. 22:31; Lk. 22:38; Lk. 22:47; Lk. 23:14; Lk. 23:15; Lk. 23:29; Lk. 24:4; Lk. 24:13; Lk. 24:49; 

Satan (4567)(satanas) means adversary the supernatural being who continually opposes and attacks God's people. He is neither omniscient, omnipotent nor omnipresent. God keeps him on a chain and he can do only what God allows. Remember that in spiritual warfare, the battle is not a power struggle but a truth struggle because he is a master of deception and lies. 

Demanded (1809)(exaiteo from ek/ex  = from, out of + aiteo = to ask) is used only here and means to ask for with emphasis and with implication of having a right to do so. Zodhiates has "To claim back, require something to be delivered up. In the mid. voice as a deponent verb, exaitéomai, to claim back for oneself." Strong's definition is a bit interpretative "to ask that one be given up to one from the power of another." BDAG says "to ask for with emphasis and with implication of having a right to do so." 

Mattoon adds that exaiteo "means "to beg for one's self; to ask that one be given up to one from the power of another; to demand for the purpose of torture and punishment." The word indicates the limitations of Satan's power and the fact there is one more powerful than he... the Lord. Thank God for that!"

Sift (4617)(siniazo) means literally to sift or shake as in a sieve, to winnow, as separating chaff from grain. Figuratively it means "to try one's faith to the verge of overthrow." (Strong). The idea is character refinement, testing out, taking away the bad from the good  This verb is used only here in the NT and is not in the Septuagint. 

SIFTING THE GRAIN When the winnowing process is over, then comes the sifting of the grain. The wheat or barley will still be more or less mixed with certain amounts of chaff, little stones, and perhaps some tares. Sifting is therefore necessary before the grain can be ground into meal. This is the task of the women. The sifter seats herself on the floor, and shakes the sieve which contains the grain, until the chaff begins to appear on the top, and this is blown away by lung power. The stones are removed as are also the tares. The LORD JESUS made reference to the "sifting" of Simon Peter. He said: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Wheat (4621)(sitos) means wheat or grain in general. Gilbrant on wheat, sitos "is used in classical (Homer), literary (Philo, Josephus), and nonliterary (papyri) Greek writings as a general term for “grain” (e.g., wheat, barley; cf. Liddell-Scott). In both the Septuagint and the New Testament sitos denotes “wheat” or “grain” (“corn” in the KJV means “grain” or “wheat”) in its literal sense (Genesis 30:14; Psalm 81:16 [LXX 80:16]; Luke 16:7). Often it is used symbolically for the life of a righteous person (versus the unrighteous) who at death will be rewarded by God with a new, resurrected life (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:37; John 12:24) in heaven with God (cf. Matthew 3:12; 13:25,29). Sitos is also used figuratively to denote a severe test (Luke 22:31) or the Word of God which comes to fruition on its own accord (Mark 4:28)." (Complete Biblical Library)

Sitos - 14x in 14v - Matt. 3:12; 13:25, 29f; Mk. 4:28; Lk. 3:17; 12:18; 16:7; 22:31; Jn. 12:24; Acts 27:38; 1 Co. 15:37; Rev. 6:6; 18:13

Sitos - 80x in Septuagint -  Gen. 27:28, 37; 41:35, 49; 42:2f, 25f; 43:2; 44:2; 47:12ff; Num. 18:12, 27; Deut. 7:13; 11:14; 12:17; 14:23; 15:14; 18:4; 28:51; 33:28; Jos. 5:11f; Jdg. 6:11; 2 Ki. 18:32; 1 Chr. 21:23; 2 Chr. 2:10, 15; 31:5; 32:28; Neh. 5:2f, 10f; 10:37, 39; 13:5; Job 3:24; 5:26; 6:5, 7; 12:11; 15:23; 30:4; 33:20; 38:41; 39:29; Ps. 4:7; 65:13; Prov. 3:10; 4:17; 11:26; 20:4; 31:27; Cant. 7:2; Isa. 36:17; 62:8; Jer. 23:28; 31:12; Lam. 2:12; Ezek. 27:17; 36:29; Hos. 2:8f, 22; 7:14; 9:1; 14:7; Joel 1:10, 17; 2:19, 24; Hag. 1:11; Zech. 9:17

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Illustration - A shipwrecked man managed to reach an uninhabited island. There, to protect himself against the elements and to safeguard the few possessions he had salvaged, he painstakingly built a little hut from which he constantly and prayerfully scanned the horizon for the approach of a ship. Returning one evening after a search for food, he was terrified to find the hut completely enveloped in flames. Yet by divine mercy this hard affliction was changed into a mighty advantage. Early the following morning he awoke to find a ship anchored off the island. When the captain stepped ashore, he explained, "We saw your smoke signal and came." Everything the marooned man owned had to be destroyed before he could be rescued. The trials and adversities of life are never pleasant, but it in them that we learn the secrets of dependence, of grace, of hope and of His presence. None of us wishes for trials or adversity, but it is through them that God refines the metal of our lives and molds us into His image. Just as metal is placed in a furnace and heated to a white hot state so the dross can be removed, God allows us to enter the furnace of affliction so that He might refine and purify our lives. Of course, the most difficult of the adversities we face is that which comes from sin and the attack of the devil. When we are forced to enter that furnace, the potential for pain is greatest....This passage lets us know that we do not have to fail in the attacks of life. We do not have to crawl away in defeat, never to be heard from again. I want to show you that anyone can endure the trials, tests and adversities of life. I want to show you that even if you have failed, you can still rise from the ashes and salvage what Satan has attempted to destroy. I want to share, from this passage, some Help For Sifted Saints.  (Alan Carr)

Steven Cole -  We fail to recognize the spiritual battle that we’re engaged in and so fail to pray as we should.

Peter didn’t understand that Satan was out to get him and that this hour belonged to the power of darkness. Thus he failed to pray at that crucial time in the garden (Luke 22:31, 46, 53). This caused him to react to Jesus’ arrest by swinging his sword, rather than with weapons for spiritual warfare. Then he blindly wandered into the path of temptation in the courtyard of the high priest’s house.

So often, like Peter, we react to difficult situations from the physical or human perspective, rather than realizing that we’re in a spiritual battle with the unseen forces of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:11-12). Someone says something against you at work and you react in anger by putting him down or getting back at him. By not praying and seeing it as a spiritual attack, you missed the opportunity to bear witness for Christ!

Steven Cole - God uses our failures to give us a deeper understanding of our total need for Him 

We all inherently have too high a view of ourselves and of our ability to live the Christian life in our own strength. And so the Lord graciously permits us to fail to teach us our absolute need for Him. About the time that you start thinking, “I’ll never fall into that sin again!” look out! “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

This principle is illustrated in many places in the Bible (see Psalm 107, for example), but perhaps nowhere more clearly than with Peter’s denials of Christ. The Lord could have prevented Peter’s failure. Satan had demanded permission to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31). God did not have to grant Satan’s demand. He could have said, “Satan, be gone!” and Satan would have had to flee. But God granted Satan’s request to teach Peter (and us) a painful, but necessary, lesson: Peter was not as strong as he thought he was. He had protested that even if all others fell away, he would stand firm (Mark 14:29). But he had to fail to learn not to trust in himself. The Christian life is a process of getting knocked off our feet so that we learn not to trust in ourselves, but totally in the Lord.

But Peter learned something else through his failure, and Asaph learned the same wonderful lesson

Ray Pritchard - Satan prowls the world like a roaring lion, looking for those he can destroy (1 Peter 5:8). But though he possesses great power, he can do nothing without God’s express permission. In Job 1 it is God who tells the devil to consider his servant Job. Satan cannot afflict Job beyond the limits established by God. The devil is powerful, but he is not omnipotent. He has great knowledge but he is not omniscient. A few hours before his betrayal, Jesus told Peter that Satan had requested permission to sift him like wheat, meaning that Satan could not tempt him to evil without God’s permission (Luke 22:31). Satan operates within limits imposed by God. This is both a comfort and a warning. It is a comfort to know that our temptations do not happen by chance but are permitted by our Heavenly Father. The warning is that God still holds us accountable for how we respond. No one will ever be able to escape judgment by saying, “The devil made me do it.” No, he may have tempted you, but you did the sinning all by yourself. (Overcoming Lingering Bitterness)

Adrian Rogers - Where was Satan working on Peter when he tempted him to deny Jesus? He tempted him on his faith, on his relationship with God. Peter wasn't on an ego trip. It wasn't his soul that was under attack. It wasn't that his hormones were raging or that he was set on committing some sexual sin. No, his spirit was under attack. His faith became weakened under the hammering of Satan's temptation. Satan will come against you in the same way. And when he does, the Bible tells us to use the "shield of faith" to protect ourselves from "the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Eph. 6:16). (Borrow What every Christian ought to know day by day : essential truths for growing your faith)

And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat’ ” (Luke 22:31).

It is important to understand that Satan seeks to sift only those who threaten his work. He goes after the tree that has the most potential to bear fruit. That is exactly why the devil desired to sift Peter.

For three years Peter had been casting out devils and healing the sick. I believe that when Satan had heard Jesus promise the disciples another baptism—one of Holy Spirit power and fire—he trembled. Now the devil heard God’s ultimate plan for Peter—and he realized that the works of the past three years would be nothing compared to the greater things Peter and the others would perform. The devil was looking for a measure of corruption in Peter to build on, to make Peter’s faith fail.

Perhaps like Peter you are being shaken and sifted. Maybe you’re asking, “Why me? Why now?” First of all, you ought to rejoice that you have such a reputation in hell. Satan is sifting you because you play an important part in God’s Church in these last days.

God is doing a new thing in this last generation, and you have been set apart by Him to be a powerful witness to many. He has set you free and is preparing you for His eternal purposes. The greater your gifts and the greater your surrender to the will of God, then the greater your potential—and the more severe your sifting will be.

When someone is going through the fire of sifting, what should those around him do? What did Jesus do about Peter’s imminent fall? He said to him, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (verse 32). When you see brothers and sisters compromising or heading for trouble or disaster, love them enough to warn them as firmly as Jesus warned Peter. Most of all, tell them, “I am praying for you.”

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:31, 32.

Here again are the countermovements of Satan and God. Satan puts the saints in his sifter to winnow out the good and leave the bad. Christ prays for His people that their testing may winnow out the chaff and leave the wheat. The dross He would consume and the gold refine. And all in order that the saint may be a strengthener of his brethren. If you have not been through the devil's sifter, you are probably not worth sifting!

Lehman Strauss -  Sifted

Every human life is a commentary upon the presence and power of evil in the world. Every biography is a warning signal to the coming generation of the subtle attacks of man's universal enemy, the devil. The life story of Simon Peter is such a biography. No thoughtful reader could fail to see in it a solemn warning of the approach and attack of our infernal foe. Lest we belittle the enemy's presence, we have our Lord's own words to one of His followers: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).

The Possibility Of The Sifting

These words of our Lord point out the possibility of a believer being caught in Satan's riddle. Satan, knowing that he is permitted to sift the winnowed wheat that is in God's granary, actively seeks to entrap the saints in his screen, that he might shake them violently. That Satan may do this is one of the divine mysteries; nevertheless it is true. Satan being a created being, both his power and knowledge are limited. Yet he is permitted to have access to God's elect.

When the Lord Jesus warned Peter of the possibility of being sifted, He was borrowing a figure of speech from the Old Testament. In His warning of divine judgment to come upon Assyria, God said that He would "sift the nations with the sieve of emptiness," or "a useless sieve." The sifting here is not to preserve but to destroy. The Assyrians and their generals were sifted by God; and inasmuch as they were but unbelieving chaff, they were annihilated (Isa. 37:36). This sifting was a type of a greater one that will take place on a larger scale when the Son of Man comes again in power and glory, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2:8-12). In this one instance the sifting is not for the good of those being tried, but rather for the vindication of the righteousness of God.

But let us look further into the possibility of the sifting of the saints in the devil's sieve. The aim of Satan's sifting is contrary to the aim of divine sifting. Satan purposes to get rid of the gram; God purposes to get rid of the chaff. The devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8), but God gathers His wheat into the garner and burns up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:12).

Satan, by the permissive will of God, shook Job violently in his sieve (Job 1:6-12). The patriarch Job was a wealthy man, but he was a good man whose trust was in the Lord. Satan accused Job, before the Lord, of serving God for the material profit he derived from doing so. God gave Satan the privilege of sifting His servant, and while Job was in the devil's sieve, his possessions and family were taken away. The enemy's desire is to sift all of God's children, and there is no promise given to us from God that we shall escape a sifting of the devil similar to that which Job experienced. Death, destruction, or poverty might strike at any time in any of our lives. And, while at first all might appear to be a gloomy mystery, the sifting always results in a glorious manifestation. Some of the blessed results of the sifting of the saints we shall observe later.

In the prophecy of Amos, we see God sifting His children, Israel: "For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9). A careful reading of this entire book will show that Israel had exposed herself to many sinful practices and departures from the Lord. Her thanklessness, idolatry, and wantonness resulted in her being sifted.

In the early Church, an incestuous person took one of his father's wives into his home. Instead of heeding the Christian message, this guilty person had followed a false religious philosophy that legalized polygamy. The Apostle Paul sternly reproved him and commanded the church at Corinth to deliver him into Satan's hands for the destruction of the flesh (1 Cor. 5:5). Here, indeed, is another case of a saint in Satan's sieve.

Finally, the possibility of sifting is seen in the experience of the great apostle himself. Paul, by the Holy Spirit, wrote of his rapture into Paradise. That any carnal boasting might be bridled, the apostle was given "a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet" (2 Cor. 12:7).

These six references will suffice to show the possibility of being sifted by the permissive will of God.

The Protection For The Sifting

With each sifting of a saint there is the blessed assurance of divine protection. While Satan is permitted to sift us, God makes certain that the enemy goes just so far, and there he meets the restraining hand. In the case of Job, the Lord said to Satan: "All that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand" (Job 1:12). The hedge that God placed about Job (1:10) shows that the child of God is safe from the worst that the enemy can do.

In our text, the protection of the Christian in this present dispensation is clearly stated. Jesus said to Peter: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:32). The saint in Satan's sieve is assured that the Lord Jesus, the master in the art of prayer, is his advocate and intercessor. Before we are attacked by the enemy, our Lord has protected us by exercising His function as our great high priest. During the process of the sifting we might receive comfort from the prayers of our friends, but none of these intercessions can compare with the praying of our Lord. The secret of unfailing faith is in the Lord's presence at God's right hand.

Our Lord has entered into heaven itself, "now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Heb. 9:24), "seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25). His praying is our protection. What Christ did for Peter, He is doing daily, night and day, for us. When He was yet upon the earth, our Lord prayed to His Father in heaven: "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil one" (John 17:15, A.S.V.). This proves that no true child of God can be lost in Satan's sieve. The fact that Jesus lives to manage my affairs shows that I, too, live forever. He has committed Himself as my bondman. Therefore my faith cannot fail.

It will be good for us if we refresh our minds on this subject of our Lord's present intercessory ministry in our behalf. Perhaps the most formal discussion of the priestly work of Christ appears in the Epistle to the Hebrews. What those persecuted and suffering Jewish Christians needed to know was that Jesus was a sympathetic high priest, better than Aaron. Forty days after His resurrection He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9), and there are abundant evidences as to exactly where He is and what He is doing now.

Paul tells us that Christ is at the right hand of God and that He "maketh intercession for us" (Rom. 8:34). His position in heaven is one of dignity and authority, and it serves to stress the efficacy of His intercessory work. Why does our Lord intercede for us? Because there is someone with power who comes before the throne of God that he might condemn the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. That slanderer is Satan, or the devil, the malignant accuser and worst enemy of man. Whenever he brings his false charge against a child of God, our great high priest in heaven silences him by the marks of crucifixion in His hands, feet, and side, proof sufficient that the believer is justified by the blood of Christ. "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25).

Before every Christian lies a pilgrim path beset by our great foe, Satan. We need to know that we have a great high priest who protects us from the worst our enemy can do. Our Lord is infinitely sympathetic and He is able to carry us straight through to the end of our pilgrimage. "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" (Heb. 2:17, 18). The ministry of our high priest is not confined to His atonement, but continues in intercession and succour. To know Him in this present ministry for us will strengthen our hearts when the enemy comes in like a flood. He is our faithful high priest, always near to give the victory.

In view of the fact that we have such an high priest, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:15, 16). He helps in the hour of temptation, giving grace and mercy to preserve us blameless and to keep us from falling. When Satan would buffet us and sift us in his sieve, we may draw near with boldness to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our loving high priest. He provides grace for both present and future spiritual needs.

The Purpose Of The Sifting

God never acts without reason, and His purposes He makes plain to those who desire to know them. Some of the purposes of sifting we shall examine now.

Sometimes the sifting is permitted in order to silence Satan. The enemy of God's Word, the accuser of the brethren, is often silenced even as he sifts the saints. Again, probably the best example of this in the Old Testament is the patriarch Job. Satan accused Job of serving God for gain (Job 1:9-11). Then God gave Satan the privilege to take away Job's possessions and family. This only resulted in the silencing of the evil one, for instead of complaining against God, Job testified: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).

The devil sows the seed of doubt and distrust in the minds of many people by persuading them that Christians can serve God only in the sunshine, but our common enemy has been silenced in many a sickroom and poverty-stricken home where trial and testing have brought forth praise to God, even in the midst of physical and mental suffering. There is a ministry in suffering that produces greater victories over Satan than much present-day preaching and religious activity. Certainly Job, and all other saints in Satan's sieve, can rejoice in having a part in the ministry which silences the enemy.

Sometimes the sifting is permitted that we might have sympathy for others. Often the greatest sufferers become the greatest sympathizers. Having been in the place where we needed sympathy ourselves, we become more sympathetic toward others. Job's three "friends" knew nothing of his sufferings, so he called them "miserable comforters." The Scripture teaches us that God "comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Cor. 1:4).

The greatest sympathizer of all time is our Lord Jesus Christ. For forty days he was sifted in Satan's sieve (Matt. 4:1-11). At the end of that time He had silenced Satan. All the while He knew what it was to be hungry and to spend sleepless nights as He wrestled with the enemy. "For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" (Heb. 2:18). Our Lord did not fail to instruct Peter in this, for He said: "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32). O weary one, look now to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive His comfort. There is a ministry awaiting you.

Then, too, the sifting might come to us to fill up that which is lacking in Christian experience. Simon Peter needed the sifting. He had been boastful (Mark 14:29), self-confident (Luke 22:33), prayerless (Luke 22:45), hasty (Luke 22:50), and had warmed himself at the fire of the enemy (Luke 22:56), denying his Lord (Luke 22:57-60). He needed the sifting to get rid of the chaff. If Christ had not prayed for Peter, Satan would have destroyed him and not the chaff. But God was making no mistake in permitting His child to be sifted in Satan's sieve. He was purging away the chaff that He might polish the pure grain. The sifting makes us more like the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes the trial and test are God's method of producing Christlikeness in His children. The Lord is not concerned merely with providing our salvation to keep us out of hell. He longs to conform us to the image of His Son. And if we are to be like the Lord Jesus, there must be sifting, suffering, and sorrow. We can never be like Christ without these things. So when we are passing through the sifting process, we can say: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God," and the reason is that we might "be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:28, 29). These are but a few of the glorious purposes of God in permitting His children to get caught in Satan's sieve.

One final word should serve as a warning to the unsaved. God Himself will execute the final sifting of the unrighteous from the righteous. Today, while the devil is sowing his tares among the wheat, many unbelievers are ranked among the redeemed. But, at the end of the age, the grim reapers will separate the tares from the wheat, and the unbelievers will be cast into a furnace of fire where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:24-43). In that day of judgment, the nations "shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind" (Isa. 17:13). Man's day will have come to its close, and of him it is written: "The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away" (Psa. 1:4).

He is a wise man who acknowledges the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, thereby escaping the final sifting when the unsaved will be cast into hell forever.

Luke 22:32   but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

BGT  Luke 22:32 ἐγὼ δὲ ἐδεήθην περὶ σοῦ ἵνα μὴ ἐκλίπῃ ἡ πίστις σου· καὶ σύ ποτε ἐπιστρέψας στήρισον τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου.

GNM  Luke 22:32 ἐγώ@npn-1s δέ@ch δέομαι@viao--1s περί@pg σύ@npg-2s ἵνα@cc/cs μή@qn ἐκλείπω@vsaa--3s ὁ@dnfs πίστις@n-nf-s σύ@npg-2s καί@cc σύ@npn-2s ποτέ@abi ἐπιστρέφω@vpaanm2s στηρίζω@vmaa--2s ὁ@damp ἀδελφός@n-am-p σύ@npg-2s

KJV  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

NET  Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

CSB  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

ESV  Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

NIV  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

NLT  Luke 22:32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers."

NRS  Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

YLT  Luke 22:32 and I besought for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and thou, when thou didst turn, strengthen thy brethren.'

GWN  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. So when you recover, strengthen the other disciples."

NKJ  Luke 22:32 "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

NAB  Luke 22:32 but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers."

MIT  Luke 22:32 But I interceded in your behalf lest your faith be utterly terminated. When you have had a turnaround, strengthen your brothers."

NJB  Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.'

ASV  Luke 22:32 but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, establish thy brethren.

DBY  Luke 22:32 but *I* have besought for thee that thy faith fail not; and *thou*, when once thou hast been restored, confirm thy brethren.

BBE  Luke 22:32 But I have made prayer for you, that your faith may not go from you: and when you are turned again, make your brothers strong.

NIRV  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, Simon. I have prayed that your faith will not fail. When you have turned back, help your brothers to be strong."

RSV  Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren."

RWB  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

WEB  Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

  • but I have prayed for you Zechariah 3:2-4; John 14:19; 17:9-11,15-21; Romans 5:9,10; 8:32,34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 2:1,2
  • that your faith may not fail Luke 8:13; 2 Timothy 2:18; Titus 1:1; Hebrews 12:15; 1 Peter 1:1; 1 John 2:19
  • when once you have turned again Luke 22:61,62; Mt 18:3; 26:75; Mark 14:72; 16:7; Acts 3:19
  • strengthen your brothers Ps 32:3-6; 51:12,13; Jn 21:15-17; 2 Co 1:4-6; 1 Ti 1:13-16; Heb 12:12,13; 1 Pe 1:13; 5:8-10; 2 Pe 1:10-12; 3:14,17,18
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Hebrews 7:25+ Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since (WHY IS HE ABLE TO SAVE FOREVER?)  He always lives to (present tense - continually) make intercession for (huper - on their behalf) them. 

Romans 8:33-34 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also (present tense - continually)  intercedes for (huper - on our behalf) us.

Jude 1:24-25  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

John 17:6-19  “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19“ For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 


But I (ego) have prayed (deomai) for you - But is a strategic term of contrast! Praise God for this contrast! Satan is seeking but the Savior is interceding! Thank You Jesus! "The One through Whom we have access to the Father is Himself going directly to the Father. "Christ shelters the weak and faltering with the shield of His intercession." (James Smith) And remember since Jesus always prays according to His Father's will, His prayers are always answered! (cf 1 Jn 5:14-15+). 

David Guzik rightly reasons that "Surely there are many times that we would have perished, but Jesus prayed for us and protected us."

Leon Morris - Jesus goes on to assure Peter that he has prayed for him (you this time is singular and indicates prayer specifically for Peter). Notice that the Master did not ask that his servant might be freed from trouble. The undergoing of difficulty and hardship is an integral part of the Christian way. (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

C H Spurgeon - How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, He pleads for us, and when we are not praying, He is advocating our cause and, by His supplications, shielding us from unseen dangers. We little know what we owe to our Savior’s prayers. When we reach the hilltops of heaven and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God has led us, how we will praise Him who, before the eternal throne, has pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32). 

Herbert Lockyer - Jesus had tried to forewarn Peter of his coming test. Peter, however, was not fully aware of the power of Satan. But what can Satan do against the prayers of Christ? Peter was prayed for by name, and this prayer-habit of Christ's has never ceased. Is it not comforting to know that each of us are on His prayer-list? Does He not live to make intercession for us, every one of us, no matter how insignificant in the eyes of the world we may appear?....Robert Murray M'Cheyne said: "If I could hear Jesus praying for me in the next room, I should not fear a thousand devils." Christ is praying for us, just as He prayed for Peter, which should be a comfort when fierce temptations arise. The "next room" is not far away, for space has nothing to do with the life of the unseen world. "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." (Borrow All the prayers of the Bible : a devotional and expositional classic)

Paul describes Jesus' current ministry as our Great High Priest in Romans 8 asking "who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also (continually - present tense) intercedes  for us." (Ro 8:32+) Paul had just used the same verb (entugchano in the present tense) to describe the Holy Spirit Who "intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." (Ro 8:27)

That your faith (pistis) may not fail (ekleipo) - That (hina) introduces a purpose clause. What's the purpose in this context. The purpose of Christ's prayer is a preventative for failure of Peter's faith. The implication is clear, that without Jesus praying for Peter, his faith would have failed! Your is singular in contrast to the "you" in Lk 22:31 which is plural and would have applied to all 11 disciples. Here the Lord's prayer is singularly focused on Peter and his faith

THOUGHT - As noted above, Jesus is continually praying for us! And one thing He surely must be praying is that our faith might not fail. Have you ever really thought of it that way! We owe Christ everything! What would happen to our faith if He were not continually interceding for us? The implication of this verse is that our faith would fail! We would fall. As Paul says in Romans 11:36 "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

A T Robertson on fail (ekleipo) - Our word eclipse is this word. Evidently Jesus could not keep Satan from attacking Peter. He had already captured Judas. Did he not repeatedly attack Jesus? But he could and did pray for Peter's faith and his praying won in the end, though Peter stumbled and fell.

Adrian Rogers - Did the Lord Jesus ever pray a prayer that was not answered? Of course not! That's because He always prayed to do the will of the Father. He always prayed in faith. Sin never inhibited His prayer. Every prayer that He prayed was answered. So just as He prayed for the apostle Peter, whom Jesus said the devil had asked to "sift like wheat" (Luke 22:31), Jesus prays that the Father would keep you. This was the same Peter who cursed and denied Christ yet went on to become the flaming apostle of Pentecost. That's because Jesus prayed for him, just as He prays for you. (Borrow What every Christian ought to know day by day : essential truths for growing your faith)

Vance Havner - Here again are the counter movements of Satan and God. Satan puts the saints in his sifter to winnow out the good and leave the bad. Christ prays for His people that their testing may winnow out the chaff and leave the wheat. The dross He would consume and the gold refine. And all in order that the saint may be a strengthener of his brethren. If you have not been through the devil's sifter, you are probably not worth sifting!

J C Ryle - The Greek word translated “fail” (ekleipo) is the root of our English word “eclipse.” The object of our Lord’s intercession was that Peter’s faith might not altogether die, though for a time it might be very weak. Let it be noted that “faith” is the root of the whole Christian character, and the part which Satan specially labors to overthrow. In the temptation of Eve, of Peter, and of our Lord Himself, the assault was in each case directed against the same point, and the object sought was to produce unbelief.

Related Resources:

Horatius Bonar - Trial gives us ballast and fixedness; it delivers us from changeableness and caprice, and love of novelty; it keeps us from being carried about with every wind of doctrine. The untried are generally unstable.

And you, when once you have turned again (epistrepho) - Note it is says when, not if, so here is a clear prediction that Peter would turn back to the Lord from his moment of temporary failure. Turned again is the verb epistrepho which can mean to be converted, but In this passage, does not appear to refer to Peter's conversion, but of returning to a "good" place in regard to his trust and confidence in Jesus. One commentator says "once you have retraced your steps." Is not turned again a beautiful description of repentance, of turning from a sin and back to the Savior? Epistrepho is the very verb Peter used in the concluding words of his great Spirit filled, Word centered sermon in Acts 3 declaring "Therefore repent and return (epistrepho), so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you." (Acts 3:19-20+)

Marvin Vincent - Converted is simply the Latinized rendering of the word to turn round (convertere). Rev. renders the aorist participle, denoting a definite act, by once: "when once thou hast turned again.Strengthen (στήρισον) See on Lk 16:26, and 1 Peter 5:10. Rev., stablish, which is much better. Strengthen may denote only a temporary effect. The word implies fixedness (cf Lk 16:26+ - "a great chasm fixed").

Strengthen (sterizo) your brothers (adelphos) Strengthen is a command in aorist imperative. Thus Jesus is charging Peter, once you have returned, then, do this without delay and do it effectively. The implication is that Peter would help his brothers (other believers of all time) stay strong in their faith and grow in their faith (cf 2Pe 3:18+). Of course one of the greatest answers to Christ's prayer was Peter's writing of his great epistles to comfort and strengthen saints passing through trials and bitter suffering. 

Robert Stein on strengthen your brothers -  In the NT this verb frequently describes the process of helping someone grow in the Christian faith. (Ro 1:11; 16:25; 1 Th 3:2, 13; 2 Th 2:17; 2 Pe 1:12; cf. Acts 18:23). How Peter fulfilled this is seen in Acts by his leadership in completing the number of the disciples to twelve (Acts 1:15–26), his preaching at Pentecost (Acts 2:14–40), his early preaching and leadership in Jerusalem (Acts 3–5), and his role in the expansion of the church to Samaria (Acts 8:14–25) and to the Gentiles (Acts 10–11; Acts 15:7–11). Brothers therefore refers to more than just the other apostles and is essentially a synonym for “believers” (cf. Acts 1:15; 15:23). For the Johannine parallel to this, cf. John 21:15–19. (NAC)

Morris - He who has been through deep waters has the experience that enables him to be of help to others (cf. 2 Cor. 1:6). (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)


Play Matt Redman's song "You Never Let Go"

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
Oh, You never let go, You never let go

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
You never let, You never let go
You never let go of me


I have prayed (1189)(deomai) means to plead, petition, ask urgently, even to beg.

Deomai - Matt. 9:38; Lk. 5:12; Lk. 8:28; Lk. 8:38; Lk. 9:38; Lk. 9:40; Lk. 10:2; Lk. 21:36; Lk. 22:32; Acts 4:31; Acts 8:22; Acts 8:24; Acts 8:34; Acts 10:2; Acts 21:39; Acts 26:3; Rom. 1:10; 2 Co. 5:20; 2 Co. 8:4; 2 Co. 10:2; Gal. 4:12; 1 Thess. 3:10

Faith (4102)(pistis)  trust, commitment, confidence, conviction. In the Synoptic Gospels pistis is frequently employed to indicate trust in Jesus’ ability and willingness to meet both physical and spiritual needs (e.g., Mt 8:10; 9:2,29; 15:28; Mk 10:52; Lk 7:50; 17:19). In this context in Lk 22:32 pistis refers to belief directed toward Jesus, so that one is confident in His promises and provision and trusting Him (relying on Him) for His protection and power. 

Pistis in Luke and Acts - Lk. 5:20; Lk. 7:9; Lk. 7:50; Lk. 8:25; Lk. 8:48; Lk. 17:5; Lk. 17:6; Lk. 17:19; Lk. 18:8; Lk. 18:42; Lk. 22:32; Acts 3:16; Acts 6:5; Acts 6:7; Acts 11:24; Acts 13:8; Acts 14:9; Acts 14:22; Acts 14:27; Acts 15:9; Acts 16:5; Acts 17:31; Acts 20:21; Acts 24:24; Acts 26:18

Fail (1587)(ekleipo from ek = out or an intens. + leípō = to fail, to leave out or off) means to leave out, leave off, by implication to cease. It means to come to an end, give out, die out, be obscured (Lk 22:45), come to an end (Heb 1:12). Our English eclipse.

Ekleipo - Lk. 16:9 = of worldly wealth "when (not if) it fails"; Lk. 22:32; Lk. 23:45 = it was dark for 3 hours (Lk 23:44) because "the sun was obscured"; Heb. 1:12 = "Your years will not come to an end."

Turned again (1994)(epistrepho from epí = motion toward + strepho = turn around) means literally to turn around (as Jesus did in Mt 9:22. Peter Acts 9:40), to return. Figuratively epistrepho means to convert, the idea being that there is a definite turn to God in conduct as well as in one's mind. Epistrepho is frequently associated with repentance.  Make them steadfast in heart and mind. Frequently used in this sense in (Ro 1:11; 16:25; 1 Th. 3:2, 13; 2 Th. 2:17; 3:3; Jas 5:8; 1 Pe 5:10; 2 Pe 1:12; Rev. 3:2). Friberg - (1) intransitively, active and middle with aorist passive; (a) literally, of physical movement turn around, turn (about) (Jn 21.20); return, turn back (Acts 15.36); (b) figuratively, of religious or moral change change one's ways, repent (Mk 4.12 ); of a change of mind or course of action come to believe again in, turn back to, return to (Lk 17.4; Gal 4.9); (2) transitively, of religious or moral change turn, bring back, cause to change (Jas 5.19, 20)" (Borrow Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament)

Epistrepho - 35v - back(2), back*(3), return(6), returned(3), returns(2), take back(1), turn(8), turn back(1), turned(6), turned again(1), turned around(1), turning(2), turning around(2), turns(2), turns...back(1). Matt. 10:13; Matt. 12:44; Matt. 13:15; Matt. 24:18; Mk. 4:12; Mk. 5:30; Mk. 8:33; Mk. 13:16; Lk. 1:16; Lk. 1:17; Lk. 2:39; Lk. 8:55; Lk. 17:4; Lk. 17:31; Lk. 22:32; Jn. 21:20; Acts 3:19; Acts 9:35; Acts 9:40; Acts 11:21; Acts 14:15; Acts 15:19; Acts 15:36; Acts 16:18; Acts 26:18; Acts 26:20; Acts 28:27; 2 Co. 3:16; Gal. 4:9; 1 Thess. 1:9; Jas. 5:19; Jas. 5:20; 1 Pet. 2:25; 2 Pet. 2:22; Rev. 1:12

Strengthen (4741)(sterizo) means to make firm or solid, to cause to be inwardly firm or committed. Sterizo is used metaphorically in this passage to describe stabilizing other wavering saints by providing a support so that they will not totter. Sterizo is often used in the NT to describe helping Christians grow strong and firm in their faith (Ro 1:11; Ro 16:25; 1 Th 3:2, 13; 2 Th 2:17) It is notable that this same verb sterizo is twice used by Peter in his two letters, and the related derivative word 'steadfastness,' (sterigmos) is used by Peter in 2 Pe 3:17 and is derived from sterizo.

Sterizo - 14v - confirm(1), determined(1), establish(2), established(2), fixed(1), strengthen(6), strengthening(1). Lk. 9:51; Lk. 16:26; Lk. 22:32; Acts 18:23; Rom. 1:11; Rom. 16:25; 1 Thess. 3:2; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Thess. 2:17; 2 Thess. 3:3; Jas. 5:8; 1 Pet. 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:12; Rev. 3:2

1 Peter 5:10; After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

2 Peter 1:12;  Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

2 Peter 3:17  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness (sterigmos derived from sterizo),

 A reflection on FAILURE - When I am thinking about the times my faith has wavered. We tend to dwell on our faltering efforts at faith, remembering well the falls we’ve taken along the way to maturity. We should not take them lightly, but neither should we let them define us. Jesus saw Simon Peter’s denial in advance, yet He prayed with confidence that his faith would not fail. In the final analysis, it did not. And that’s what counts with Jesus. Do not let your failures define you. Trust Jesus. He has prayed for you.

Illustration: A little boy was caught under the debris of a falling building in the city of Liverpool. The rescuers were working might and main to take away the debris. Now and then they stopped to listen, and then they could hear his plaintive voice, weakly crying: "Heave away, chaps! heave away." Let all of us "heave away." Let us reach out our hand to help those in our midst who are being tempted and led away by satan.

ILLUSTRATION - I believe that one of the main things that keeps us from receiving God’s grace in Christ is our pride. We think, “Yes, I’ve failed God, but it wasn’t all that bad. Besides, I’m basically a good person.” The Bible says that God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5). If you want God’s grace, you must humble yourself and come as a needy sinner.

In the highlands of Scotland, sheep occasionally wander off among the rocky crags and get themselves trapped on dangerous ledges. They leap down to get the sweet grass on a ledge, but they can’t get back up. A shepherd will allow the helpless animal to remain there for days, until it becomes so weak that it’s unable to stand up. Finally, he ties a rope around himself and goes over the ledge to rescue the straying sheep.

You may ask, “Why doesn’t the shepherd go down right away?” The answer is that the sheep are so foolish that they would dash right over the precipice and be killed if the shepherd didn’t wait until their strength was nearly gone. (“Our Daily Bread,” Winter, 1980.)

You may be like that straying sheep. You have allowed sin to entice you into a situation where you are trapped and unable to find your way out. Maybe you’ve even called out to God, but He doesn’t seem to be answering. The reason is, He knows that you’re still too strong in yourself. But when you come to the end of yourself and recognize that you cannot do anything to save yourself, if you will call out to Jesus Christ, He will save you. He is the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for His sheep. Confess your sin and failure to Him. Cry out to Him to save you from your sins. You will experience His abundant grace. (Steven Cole)

Spurgeon - “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Satan has a deadly hatred toward all good people, and they may rest assured that somewhere or other, he will meet them on their way to the Celestial City. John Bunyan, in his immortal allegory, placed him in one particular spot and described him as Apollyon (Hebrew - Abaddon) straddling the road and swearing that the pilgrim should go no further (SEE BUNYAN'S DESCRIPTION WITH COMMENTARY NOTES). But the encounter with Apollyon does not happen in the same place to all pilgrims. God grants to Satan permission to try his people in this way because he knows how he will overrule it to his own glory and their good (See Job 1:8-11,12 compared with Job 42:5-6). Certain graces are never produced in Christians to a high degree except by severe temptation. But what is the great protection of our faith? Our Savior’s intercession! Prayer is always good—it is always a blessed thing—but notice that great one-letter word in the text, “I have prayed for you.” The intercession of Christ preserves our faith.

Vance Havner -  Here we have the Triangle of Spiritual Conflict: "Satan—you—I." Satan would sift us, but we have an Advocate. The devil asked God for permission to try Job. Here it is Simon Peter he puts through the sifter. And never have more saints been in his hands than today. But he can go only so far. There is one praying for us who defeated Satan, who came to destroy the works of the devil. The Adversary is not in the first two chapters of the Bible, nor is he in the last two. Thank God for a Book that ends with the devil out of business! But he is very much in business now in the mighty tug-of-war for the souls of men. It is Christ or Antichrist and we are the prize. Peter's faith was eclipsed but not extinct. And when he was converted, he certainly strengthened the brethren and fed the sheep—and does so to this day. Sometimes we must go through the Sifter before we are of much use for Strengthening. It is only when we have been recentered that we can strengthen the brethren

Vance Havner - When Thou Art Converted..."  "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:32

Peter needed to be converted, turned from his selflife to Christlife. There are two very significant "Follow me's" in his life. The first time he forsook his nets (Matt. 4:19); the second time he forsook himself (John 21:19). At Galilee he was self-confident, he followed in much self-sufficiency. At Tiberias he was broken: Jesus did not call him Peter or Cephas—there was nothing of the rock about him that day!—just "son of Jonas"! The Lord has to reduce us to our right size, until we are just "sons of Jonas" before we can move in experience from the "follow me" of Galilee to the "follow me" of Tiberias. It was the same sea but what a distance between for Peter!

You cannot "strengthen the brethren" until you have been converted as Peter was. That accounts for so many dry sermons and flat Sunday-school lessons. As soon as he was converted, our Lord said, "Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep." Now he could strengthen the brethren!
David realized this: "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee" (Ps. 51:12-13). Before we can strengthen believers or win the lost, we must be converted from the selflife to the Christlife... "Not I, but Christ."

Rod Mattoon - Did Peter fail? Yes, as we will see down the road, he will lose his courage and deny the Lord, but his faith did not fail. He was not a permanent casualty like Judas was. He did not quit serving the Lord, and his faith in Christ did not end. He was knocked down, but not knocked out. He was spiritually bloodied, beaten, bruised, and battered but not permanently beaten. He got back into the battle.

Have you drifted far away from Christ? Have you damaged your life by indulging in destructive sins? Repent and get your life right with the Lord. No one is going to turn your life around except you. If you are unwilling to change your course, you are destined for spiritual failure.

The records of wars sometimes tell of officers who lost their rank and were dropped from the rolls of the regiment in disgrace, but afterward, by heroic conduct won back their lost rank. There is always in the soul that possibility of reclaiming and regaining the honors and the righteousness it has lost. No matter how deep into the far country the son has wandered, there is always a path that leads back to the Father's house. There is a robe kept in readiness for you.

"I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail" (Luke 22:32).

While very ill, John Knox, the founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, called to his wife and said, "Read me that Scripture where I first cast my anchor." After he listened to the beautiful prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17, he seemed to forget his weakness. He began to pray, interceding earnestly for his fellowmen. He prayed for the ungodly who had thus far rejected the gospel. He pleaded in behalf of people who had been recently converted. And he requested protection for the Lord's servants facing persecution. As Knox prayed, his spirit went Home to be with the Lord. The man of whom Queen Mary had said, "I fear his prayers more than I do the armies of my enemies," ministered through prayer until the moment of his death.
Prayer is the working force of the Christian's life. Although we normally think of it as an element of worship, it is also vital in our service for God. By word and through example the Lord Jesus taught us that prayer is just as much a ministry as preaching, teaching, witnessing, and doing kind deeds in His name. The Savior did just as much on Peter's behalf by praying for him as He did by exhorting him. We may be assured that we are never useless as long as we can pray.
Prayer is our chief duty. If we believe this, we'll spend more time praying. When we are in circumstances that make it impossible for us to do much of anything else, we can still pray. We'll be exercising the greatest of all ministries. —H.V.L. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
God's soldiers fight best on their knees.

J H Jowett - FOILING THE ENEMY’S PLOTS Luke 22:24-34.

I DO not meet my tempter alone. The engagement has been foreseen by my Lord. “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you!” The tempter’s plots, and wiles, and ambuscades are all clearly perceived. My Lord has got the enemy’s maps, and his plan of campaign, for all things are open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. I do not fight a lonely warfare on a dark and unknown field. My Lord Himself both scouts and fights for those who are His own.

And one great means of His co-operation is the mighty ministry of intercession. “But I have prayed for thee.” That “but” is the massing of the forces of heaven against the black and subtle hordes of hell. Let me ever remember that the Lord’s prayers are always the conveyers of holy power to those for whom He prays. It is as when Christian met Apollyon in the Valley of Humiliation: there comes a sudden accession of strength to the bleeding warrior, and Apollyon retires wounded and beaten from the field.

And the only way to preserve the fruits of a triumph is by helping other warriors to gain a similar conquest. “When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren.” I shall retain the hard, muscular limbs of a soldier if I am willing to share my blood with the entire army.

C H Spurgeon - Peter has gone astray, and he has been brought back. He must have staggered the faith of the weaker disciples—Peter, who had been such a leader among them, was among the first to deny his Lord. Therefore, Peter, you must build what you have thrown down and bind up what you have torn! Go and tell these people how foolish and weak you were. Warn them not to imitate your example. Be more bold than anybody else, that you may in some measure undo the mischief that you have done.

Any of you who have been cold toward the Lord, you have wasted months, even years, in backsliding. Try to recover lost ground. If people have been staggered by your backsliding, look after them, try to bring them back and strengthen them. Ask their pardon and beg them to recover the strength of which you helped to rob them. This is the least that you can do. If almighty love has drawn you back, lay yourself out to do good to those who may have been harmed by your turning aside. Am I asking more of you than simple justice demands?

How can you better express your gratitude to God than by strengthening your weak brothers and sisters when you have been strengthened yourself? If God has restored our souls and made us strong again, then we ought to renew our zeal for the salvation of others. We ought to have a special eye to backsliders like us.

This becomes our duty because it is a part of the divine design. Let us never imagine that God’s grace is given to us simply with an eye to ourselves. Grace neither begins nor ends with us. When God saved you, he did not save you for your own sake but for his own name’s sake, that he might through you show his mercy to others. We are windows through which the light of heavenly knowledge is to shine on multitudes of eyes. The light is not for the windows themselves but for those to whom it comes through the windows.

If we have been restored let us look after our weak brothers and sisters, showing zeal for the honor and glory of our Lord. When we went astray we dishonored Christ. If others go astray they will do the same. Let us be watchful that we may prevent their being as foolish as we have been. Let us learn tenderness from our own experience and feel a deep concern for other believers.

C H SpurgeonPeter after his restoration

The restored believer should strengthen his brethren, because it will be such a benefit to himself. He will derive great personal benefit from endeavouring to cherish and assist the weak ones in the family of God. Brother, do this continually and heartily, for thus you will be made to see your own weakness. You will see it in those whom you succour. As you see how they doubt, or grow cold, or become lukewarm, you will say to yourself, ‘These are men of like passions with myself. I see which way I shall drift unless the grace of God sustains me.’ It will lead you to throw out another anchor and get a fresh hold, as you see how they yield to the tide. One man is wonderfully like another man, only that other men are better than we are, and when we are trying to strengthen them, we are not to look upon ourselves as superior beings, but rather as inferior beings and say, ‘He fell yesterday; I may fall today, and if I do not fall today, I may tomorrow.’ All the weaknesses and follies you see in others, believe that they are in yourself and that will tend to humble you. I think that a true minister is often excited to better work by what he sees of weakness in his people, because he says to himself, ‘Am I feeding this flock well?’ Perhaps he thinks to himself, ‘If I had properly tended them, they would not have shown all these weaknesses’, and then he will begin to blame his own ministry and look to his own heart; that is a good thing for us all. We very seldom, I think, blame ourselves too much and it is a benefit to us to see our own failings in others.


If you are deeply depressed and your heart is aching, this verse should bless you. “He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11–12).
There are times when your faith walks on a slender thread, high above the ways of the world, poising the balancing pole of experience. Faith tries to keep on her feet, but if she slips there is this gracious safety net of Jesus. “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32). God’s people will be safe. Satan may try to knock you down, but God will hold you up.

Watch your walk as if your perseverance depended entirely on you. Look to Jesus, however, knowing that He alone keeps the feet of His saints. Holiness, strength of faith, and ultimate perfection are our goals. Yet it is a blessed consolation that if we fail we are not thrown away. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (Ps. 37:23–24).

One Year At His Feet Devotional - “I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” Luke 22:32

IN WORD We know that the prayers of the Son of God do not go unanswered. There is no conflict, no separation between the persons of the Trinity. When the incarnate God asks, the enthroned God hears. If Jesus prayed for Simon Peter, Simon Peter is secure. His faith will not fail.

What do we make, then, of Peter’s famous denial? Three times he swore that he did not know Jesus. Three times he lied about the One to whom he had sworn undying allegiance. Wasn’t this a disaster, by any standard of religious affiliation? Didn’t he prove that he was not really devoted to Jesus? Didn’t his faith fail?

No. When Jesus sees our faith, He sees the lifelong process. He sees whether our faith will be proven false by our testing or refined by it. His covenant to strengthen us does not waver with the ups and downs of our circumstances or our moods. When we fall, He knows whether we will get up. He sees the big picture, and in the big picture our momentary faltering does not determine the final outcome. He doesn’t dwell on the toddler who stumbles; He knows us as the mature adult who walks. 

IN DEED We tend to dwell on our faltering efforts at faith, remembering well the stumbles and falls we’ve taken along the way to maturity. We should not take them lightly; Jesus did not expect Peter to casually dismiss his denial. But we should not see them as the condition that defines us. Jesus saw Peter’s failure in advance, yet He prayed with confidence and assurance that his faith would not fail. In the final analysis, it did not. And that’s what counts with Jesus.

Do not let your failures define you. They are not how God measures you. In fact, they are how the enemy wants to measure you; that’s why he asks to sift you. Don’t trust his measurement. Trust Jesus. He has prayed for you.

Strengthened - “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”Luke 22:32

“We forget that God is a specialist; He is well able to work our failures into His plans.”—Erwin Lutzer

IN WORD Jesus assumes failure on Peter’s part. He does not say, “If you need to turn back . . .” He says “when.” It’s a given. Peter will fall. 
But also notice that Jesus assumes Peter’s repentance. It, too, is a given. There is no question here of whether Peter will turn back. It will happen. And there is an instruction for after his return that probably could not have been given before his fall: “Strengthen your brothers.” In denying Jesus, grieving over his own treachery and fickleness, and coming back to Jesus with repentance, there is something different about him. Peter, literally “the rock,” is in no position to strengthen his brothers before his failure; he is the epitome of instability. But afterward? These are his orders from Jesus. Peter has grown into his name.

Why? What is different between the pre-denial Peter and the post-repentance Peter? Perhaps it is that the one who is honest about his failures is the one who can be strongest in his faith. It was Peter who ran to the tomb three days later when the other disciples did not believe the report of the women who had just been there (Luke 24:11-12). It was Peter whom Jesus told to feed His sheep (John 21:15-19). It was Peter whose Holy Spirit anointing made him the preacher of Pentecost (Acts 2:14). And it was Peter who, so we’re told, hung on his own cross—upside down. Knowing his weakness, God gave him the strength to strengthen others.

IN DEED We are apt to think that failure disqualifies us from serving God well. To the contrary, sometimes it is the only thing that does qualify us. It removes any pretense of self-reliance. Like a phoenix rising, we ascend from the ashes of our own undoing, testifying to the resurrecting power of God. From failure to forgiveness, weakness to strength, death to life—it’s God’s way. Remember that the next time you despair over your failures.

FAITH THAT DOES NOT FAIL - Spurgeon Luke 22:32

Believe in a universal providence. The Lord cares for ants and angels, for worms and for worlds, for cherubim and for sparrows, for seraphim and for insects. Throw your cares on Him. “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name” (Ps. 147:4). Let His universal providence cheer you.
Think of His special providence over all the saints. “He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight” (Ps. 72:14). “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15). “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). While He is the Savior of all men, He is especially the Savior of those that believe. Let this cheer and comfort you; special providence watches over the chosen. “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Ps. 34:7).

Let the thought of His special love to you be the essence of your comfort. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). God says that as much to you as He said it to any saint of old. Do not be afraid, for I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward (Gen. 15:1). Oh that the Holy Spirit would make you feel the promise as being spoken to you! For the promises are to you and meant for you. Grasp them! Hear the Master say, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1). Think that you heard Him say, “I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32). Think that you see Him walking on the waters of your trouble, for He is there, and He is saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Matt. 14:27).

Oh those sweet words of Christ! Lord, speak them to me. Speak them to Your poor, sorrowing child, and speak them to each one of us. May we hear Your voice and say, “Jesus whispers consolation, I cannot refuse it. I will sit under His shadow with great delight.”


Wherefore, he [Christ] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Although we hear much of Christ's redemptive work which was finished at Calvary, we hear little of His unfinished intercessory work which continues unabated! Yet it is a great and comforting truth to know that even as Jesus prayed for Peter in a time when he was experiencing severe temptation (Luke 22: 32), so our Lord now constantly intercedes on our behalf before the Father's Throne. This work of the Savior will never be completed as long as we creatures of the dust are in need of help, comfort, and blessing. R. M. McCheyne, much impressed with this truth, remarked, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference; He is praying for me!" Recently when facing a personal crisis, I realized the truth of these words in Hebrews 7 in a new and wonderful way. I asked the dear Lord to pray and intercede in my behalf, for Satan seemed to be seeking to "sift me" in his sieve (Luke 22:31). I recognized the impotence of my own weak prayers and the need of special grace. The very next day the problem of several months was solved by the Lord's special intervention. Never before had I so fully appreciated the high-priestly work of our risen Savior. If there is a great problem in your life, Christian, and your prayers seem of no avail, tell the Lord Jesus about it and ask Him to pray for you! He will take your request and present it to the Father — perfumed with the everlasting incense of His own merits. Because of His wonderful intercessory work on your be-half, you too may experience the remarkable results which only His all-powerful prayers can obtain. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

    In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me,
    Lest, by base denial, I depart from Thee;
    When Thou seest me waver, with a look recall;
     Nor for fear or favor suffer me to fall.
        —J. Montgomery

J C Philpot - He fell through the sieve!
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not." Luke 22:31, 32

The Lord did not pray for Judas—he was the son of perdition—and therefore he fell through the sieve, and fell into hell—where he now is—and where he will be to all eternity! And you and I would surely fall through too, unless we have a saving interest in the love and blood of the Lamb. You may escape for a time—but if you have no part in His atoning blood and grace—if He is not pleading for you—sooner or later you will fall through the sieve and will drop into hell—and that perhaps speedily!

Andrew Murray - In His life on earth, Christ began His work as Intercessor. Think of the high-priestly prayer on behalf of His disciples and of all who would believe in His name through them. Think of His words to Peter, “I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32)—a proof of how intensely personal His intercession is. And on the cross, He spoke as intercessor: “Father, forgive these people” (Luke 23:34).

Now that He is seated at God’s right hand, He continues, as our great High Priest, the work of intercession without ceasing. Yet He gives His people power to take part in it. Seven times in His farewell discourse, He repeated the assurance that He would do what they asked.

The power of heaven was to be at the disciples’ disposal. God waited for the disciples to ask for His grace and power. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, they would know what the will of God was. They would learn in faith to pray in His name. He would present their requests to the Father, and through united intercession, the Church would be clothed with the power of the Spirit.

Charles Stanley - GET UP!

  And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

In Peter’s mind, it was a brave moment of standing with his Messiah. Sword in hand, Peter would do everything he could to help Jesus carve away the Roman Empire and regain Israel’s independence.

Christ’s battle was not against Rome, though; it was against sin. He saw the truth of the situation, whereas Peter had a limited view. Jesus understood that in the stressful events leading up to the Crucifixion, the disciples would be filled with sorrow and confusion. Jesus knew that Peter would fail. Jesus told him, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32).

Jesus knows there will be times when you fail too. Things will arise in your life—distresses, perplexities, great pains—that will be extraordinarily difficult to stand against, and you will flounder. However, Jesus is interceding for you. He does not view you in light of your failures but whether you rise again to serve Him.

Henry Liddon said, “Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call.” When you fall, do not be afraid of God. He always accepts you with open arms. Focus instead on His forgiveness and get up again!

Lord, just as You knew Peter would fail—but would return, humbled, and serve You—so, too, You know my failings and draw my penitent heart back to You.

Charles Stanley - Patience That Won’t Let Go   SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 22:31–34   KEY VERSE: Luke 22:32  I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.
Amy Carmichael addressed the events related in these verses:

  Our Lord Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail, and within a few hours his faith did fail. The more we think of those last hours of our Lord just before Calvary, the more we see every kind of trial compressed into them. It was not only that His cup was filled to overflowing with suffering, but that every variety of suffering was there.

  It is easy to escape from the intolerable sense of such suffering by saying, “He was God.” And where Peter was concerned, we may say that Jesus saw across to the victory that would be given. But we know, though we cannot understand it, that Christ was man, too, and the word in Hebrews says that He suffered being tempted. To suffer means to endure or experience pain, so there is no escape by that door.

  Is there one for whom we are praying who seems to be unhelped by that prayer? Are we suffering, enduring, experiencing the bitterness of disappointment? Our dear Lord has been this way before. We shall find Him there. He who “turned, and looked upon Peter” will give to us … His own eternal tenderness of spirit, the love that cannot be fired out of loving, the patience that will not let go.

Peter did not fully understand God’s plan. Only later did he learn that God’s greatest source of strength was found in looking beyond himself and into the eyes of Jesus.   Dear Lord, help me to be faithful in prayer. Give me patience that won’t let go!

Blowing Away The Chaff

Read: Luke 22:31-34

Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you. —Luke 22:31-32

In Jesus’ day, wheat was separated from the chaff by a process called winnowing. A person would shake the winnow back and forth, while allowing the wind to blow away the chaff. Jesus used this analogy to prepare Peter for the trauma he would face when he’d see his Master being led away to the cross. He said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31).

Satan would shake Peter to the core of his being in an attempt to destroy his faith. But Jesus, knowing Peter’s weakness, assured him, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (v.32). In spite of this warning and reassurance, Peter still denied that he ever knew Jesus. You might ask, “Wasn’t that a failure of his faith?” No, it wasn’t his faith that failed, but his courage.

Perhaps you or I have “denied” the Lord. Oh, we didn’t lie as Peter did, but by our behavior we denied Him. Like Peter, we may have wept bitterly (v.62). When we return to the Savior, we receive forgiveness, restoration, and a renewed call to service. And we sense, as I believe Peter did, that God often allows Satan’s sifting to remove some of the chaff of our self-confidence and pride.  - By Dennis J. DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When Satan launches his attack,
We must take heart and pray;
If we submit ourselves to God,
He'll be our strength and stay. 

Satan's ploys are no match for the Savior's power.

Charles Stanley - Sifted for Service  SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 22:31–34   KEY VERSE: Luke 22:32   I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.

If you want to be greatly used of God, you must be willing to be sifted for His service. This principle is much like the process of winnowing wheat. In New Testament times that was done by threshing the grain on high ground. The chaff was blown away by the wind while what was useful remained.

Peter was no exception to the winnowing process. Jesus told the future apostle: “Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31–32 NASB).

It was the night of our Lord’s arrest. If ever there was a time Peter wanted to stand firm, that was it. Yet he ended up denying Jesus three times. What emotional pain and sorrow must have gripped his mind. But think back to Jesus’ words: “When once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” This is the hope we have in Christ; that even when we fail Him, even when He has to winnow us like wheat, He never gives up on us.

By sifting your life through trials and frustrations, God brings to the surface the things that are impure. Had Peter refused to be sifted, he never would have been fit for service. If you sense God’s sifting hand in your life, submit your will to Him and allow Him to prepare you for His service.

Lord, help me realize that my trials and frustrations are not without purpose. You are separating the good from the bad, the spiritual grain from the chaff. You are sifting me for service.

Spurgeon - God says to you, “Fear not...I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Gen. 15:1). Believer, grasp the divine word with a personal, appropriating faith. Think that you hear Jesus say, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32). Think you see Him walking on the waters of your trouble, for He is there, and He is saying, “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27). Oh, those sweet words of Christ! May the Holy Spirit make you feel them as spoken to you. Forget the others for awhile—accept the voice of Jesus as addressed to you and say, “Jesus whispers consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under His shadow with great delight.

When Satan Sifts . . .

Read: Luke 22:31-34

Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you. —Luke 22:31-32

In Jesus’ day, women sifted wheat by grasping a sieve in both hands and shaking it forcefully from side to side. Then they would move the sieve in a seesaw motion while blowing over the wheat to remove the chaff. It was a vigorous process.

This is the picture the Lord used to warn His disciples of the great testing they would face when He went to the cross. They would be like the wheat, and the sifter would be their powerful enemy Satan.

Then Jesus singled out Peter. He told him, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Lk. 22:32). But wasn’t Peter’s denial (vv.54-62) a failure of his faith? Noted theologian G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “His faith did not fail . . . when he was denying his Master. Neither did his love fail. What did fail? His hope, . . . and when hope is gone, courage fails and man becomes a coward.”

Perhaps hardship has caused us to “deny” the Lord. Like Peter, we still love Jesus, but oh, how shameful our actions!

All is not lost. The Lord told Peter, “When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (v.32). Those words meant forgiveness, restoration, and a new opportunity for service. Satan’s sifting couldn’t thwart Jesus’ praying. And that is true for us as well as for Peter.By Dennis J. DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Though Satan may assume the power
To carry out his goal,
It's true that in our darkest hour
The Lord is in control.

Satan's ploys are no match for the Savior's power.

THE BOUNCE TEST  "I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail." -- Luke 22:32   

With cranberries, it's the bounce that counts.  While the quality of some fruits is judged by their firmness and color, the best cranberries are distinguished by their ability to "bounce like a golf ball."     "Science Digest" reports that freshly picked berries are processed by pouring them down a series of steplike boards. At each level, only those berries that bounce over an 8- to 10 inch barrier pass the quality test.   Christians face a "bounce test" too.  The strength of their faith can be measured by their ability to bounce back after a fall.  Although failure is painful, it offers an occasion to reaffirm our heart's devotion to Christ.   Jesus knew that the apostle Peter was about to trip over his own self-confidence and zeal by denying Him.  Yet the Lord saw beyond this devastating failure to the disciple's repentance and restoration.  When He assured Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail, He was saying, in effect, "Peter, you will bounce back after your fall."   

If you've had a spiritual reversal, don't give up. Christ can restore you.  You can be useful to Him again, even after a hard fall.  It's the "bounce" of your faith and God's forgiveness that will enable you to go on. --  Martin R. De Haan II  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Though oftentimes we stray from You
And disregard Your Word,
In tenderness You bring us back --
Our gracious, loving Lord!
- Dennis J. De Haan 

The Lord may allow us to fall down  so that we'll learn to look up.

Robert Neighbour - Satan Seeks to Sift the Saint - "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift yon as wheat, but I have prayed for thee" (Luke 22:31, 32).

That Simon needed sifting we do not doubt. That Simon was sifted we are sure. However, the sifting that Simon received was not the sifting that satan desired.

Simon Peter was the one who seemed full of human energy and self-trust. He had said, "Though all men offend Thee, yet will not I." Thus, Simon needed sifting.

Simon was the one who gladly drew a sword in behalf of his Master. Certainly he was reproved, for he was fighting when he should have been seeking guidance — yet, the fighting showed his careless abandon, and his courageous love in behalf of his Master. Still, Simon needed sifting.

Simon was the one who followed Christ into the home of the high priest. Peter (Simon) had been reproved for using a sword, and to be sure he thrice denied knowing the Lord, still Simon was there — across the hall — and the others were not there. Yet, Simon needed sifting.

Satan knew the power of this impetuous fisherman. He reckoned on him as the one man, among the twelve, whom he had most reason to fear. Satan reckoned well. After years proved satan's surmises were correct. It was Peter who was leading spokesman at Pentecost. It was Peter who led in the great marches of the Church in its mission among the Jewish people during many years.

Satan, therefore, sought to sift Peter. He turned against him with all the cunning and power of his mighty hand. His purpose was to make shipwreck of Peter's faith. He wanted to do with Peter what he accomplished with Judas — he wanted to turn Peter, body and soul, against the Lord.

Christ knew Peter's weak spots, he anticipated satan's attack. The Lord just put His great big arm around Peter and said, "Simon * * satan * * I."
Jesus Christ fought Peter's battle. He allowed satan to sift Peter for Peter's good. In truth satan became, against his will, and beyond his purpose, the chisel in the hand of God to knock off many of the rough spots in Peter's character.

Peter came forth from satan's wiles a better and a stronger man. Before satan had finished his sifting process Peter could use swords, and curse and swear; after the sifting was done, Peter could preach with boldness, a Gospel of marvelous power, and he could even die the death of a martyr in his fidelity to his Master.

Satan will always seek to sift us to our hurt. He will try to pull us down. He will seek to overturn our faith, to weaken our prayer life, and thus to kill our testimony.

Blessed be God. There is still One Who builds a hedge about us, as He did about Job, of old. Satan can only get at us as God permits, and then not to our ultimate undoing, but to our ultimate enrichment. What we must do is to follow the Lord fully, and we need have no fear of satan's sifting.

The Attitude of Christ Toward the Backslider - Robert Neighbour

"Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee" (Luke 22:31, 32).

We have placed Peter and his backsliding last of all. We do not know that we should have done this, although in a sense, backsliding is the climax of sinning. Surely it is an evil thing and bitter, when one forsakes the Lord their God.

Peter was not only a disciple, favored with closest contact with the Lord, but he was a man who had made large boasts concerning his own integrity.
Peter, however, soon learned the frailty of the flesh. Let us notice briefly some of the steps of Peter's fall.

1. He was self-confident. He said, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I." In this statement Peter seemed to say to the Lord, "You will do well to watch James and John, Simon Zelotes and Bartholomew, Judas and Thaddeus, but, Lord, I am all right."

It is well for us to remember the words: "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

2. He forgot to watch and pray. When they went into the Garden, Christ told Peter, James and John "watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Peter was tired, borne down with his grief, and before he knew what he was doing, his weary eyes were closed. Peter slept, and sleeping he could not watch. Thus he deserted the Lord in the hour of His greatest need. While Jesus was praying and sweating as it were great drops of blood, Peter was sleeping.

3. He cut off the ear of the high priest's servant. This was seemingly an effort on Peter's part to make up for his failure in sleeping. The Lord rebuked Peter and told him to put up his sword.

4. He followed afar off. Peter went up the miff tree; his feelings were wounded; he would not utterly desert his Lord, but he pouted and followed from afar.

5. He warmed at the enemy's fire. Peter did not go in with Christ, but stayed in the room across the way and warmed himself.

6. He cursed and swore. He said, "I know not the Man" (Matt. 26:72, A. S. V.). He said it with an oath; he said it to a maid.

We have briefly outlined in Peter's fall, the usual course of a backslider. Oh, how bitter, how disappointing it is to see a man who promised allegiance, proving no more than a deserter!

Is not the church to-day filled with men who have left their Lord? They promised all fidelity; they were baptized, setting forth the death of their old man, and their resurrection to newness of life, but they have gone back with a great backsliding. What a sin is this!

What then is the attitude of Christ toward His deserters? When a man deserts his wife, the law considers him criminal. When the soldier deserts his army, he is court-martialed and shot.

What is the attitude of Christ?

Let us follow once more the case of Peter.

1. "I have prayed for thee." Christ told Peter that satan had desired to sift him as wheat, but that He had prayed for him.
2. "The Lord turned, and looked upon Peter." When Peter swore and thrice denied his Lord, the Lord Jesus looked upon him with inexpressible love and tenderest compassion; the result was that Peter went out and wept bitterly.
3. "Go your way, tell His disciples and Peter." Peter was not left out when the Lord sent word for His disciples to meet Him in Galilee.
4. "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" When Christ met the disciples by the sea, He opened His heart and received Peter back into the place of loving confidence.
5. "Feed My lambs, * * Feed My sheep." The Lord restores to Peter his work as one of the Twelve, and a noble work that proved to be.

Of one thing we may assure ourselves, be it ever so wicked for a Christian to backslide and to deny his Lord, our God is full of compassion and is ready to forgive. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Rod Mattoon - Jesus warned Peter and the disciples that Satan desired to sift them like wheat. This sifting of wheat basically referred to the repeated, swift, and violent shaking of the wheat in a sieve. The sifter would shake the sieve from side to side in order to get the chaff to surface to the top. It was then discarded. The sieve was then put through a teeter-totter motion. The sifter would blow over the material, so that what remained of the chaff gathered in an easily removable pile. The purpose for the sifting was to save the wheat that had been separated from unwanted material.  The sifting of Satan offers some important lessons that we need to consider.

1. Sifting was for the purpose of purifying the wheat

When the Lord puts us through a sifting process, He desires to purify our lives and get the chaff out. Satan, however, sifts a person to destroy them. His temptations are for the purpose of destroying us spiritually. This is what happened to Judas Iscariot and what he tried to do to Peter.

2. Sifting was for the purpose of exposing the chaff

That is what Satan desires to do in us. He wants to expose our chaff, our faults, our sins, or our weaknesses, for the purpose of hurting our testimony for Christ and to lead others astray.

3. Sifting was done to separate the wheat from the chaff the good from the bad

Satan sifts us to separate us from that which is good. He wants us to discard that which is good in our lives. When a Christian has been sifted by Satan, he discards the Bible, he stops hanging around Christians, and he gets out of church. He separates himself from that which is good.

4. The up and down, teeter-totter motion of the sieve was to sift the wheat

Satan desires that we be up and down or unstable in our lives. He tries to get us distracted and from focusing our faith in the Lord by bringing temptations, trials, and turmoil into our lives. In fact, it was James who said, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). (Mattoon's Treasures from Luke)

Paying The Price

Read: Luke 22:31-34,54-62 

I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. —Luke 22:32

Imagine being able to do anything you wanted to do without having to be concerned about costs or consequences. You could have success without risk or sacrifice. A happy marriage without having to work at it. Education without exams.

We all realize, though, that’s not the way life works. To know the joy of success, we must pay the price of commitment and learn from our failures.

Before Jesus was arrested and put on trial, Peter expressed his devotion to Him by saying, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). When that noble intention was put to the test, Peter’s resolve melted under pressure. He denied three times that he knew Jesus (vv.56-60). But his failure wasn’t final. He later reaffirmed his love for the Lord (John 21:15-19). And when empowered by the Holy Spirit he became a bold witness (Acts 2-12), willing to be imprisoned and even die for his Lord (John 21:18-19).

Our commitment to Christ will be tested as well. We may falter and need to be restored. Sometimes we will have to pay a price—suffering rejection or loss. But the only way to know the joy of Christ’s approval is to give our lives unreservedly to Him. When we do, He will work through us, as He did through Peter (Luke 22:32), to encourage others.  By Albert Lee (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill;
O may it all my powers engage,
To do my Master's will! —C. Wesley

Commitment comes with a cost.

Luke 22:33   But he said to Him, "Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!"

KJV Luke 22:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

  • I am ready to go both to prison and to death 2 Kings 8:12,13; Pr 28:26; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9; Mt 20:22; Mt 26:33-35,40,41; Mark 14:29,31,37,38; John 13:36,37; Acts 20:23,24; 21:13
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


But he said to Him, "Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!" - Peter seems to totally disregard the Lord's previous words of warning (Lk 22:31-32)! Here he brazenly manifest his typical overconfident bravado (swaggering show of courage). I have heard saints say "I am never tempted to _____ sin." While I am glad they can say that, they need to be aware that the only reason they have been able to resist that sin is because of God's provision of grace not their self-energized self-control! It is a dangerous thing in Christianity to say "I would never commit that sin." Beloved, as Peter will soon prove, when God removes His hedge of protection and gives our depraved sin nature full sway, we are capable of virtually any sin, whether "respectable" or "heinous!" Including even denying our Lord Jesus Christ! Simon should have prayed Ps. 139:23, 24, a good prayer for all disciples from time to time! 

Mt 26:35 adds this detail - "Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too."

J C Ryle - This profession was the language of a self-confident, inexperienced disciple who had not yet found out the weakness of his own faith, and the deceitfulness of his own heart. Men little know what they will do, till the time of temptation actually comes. “Is thy servant a dog,” said Hazael, “that he should do this great thing?” (2 Kings 8:13.)

Warren Wiersbe - Peter's self-confident boasting is a warning to us that none of us really knows his own heart (Jer. 17:9) and that we can fail in the point of our greatest strength. Abraham's greatest strength was his faith, and yet his faith failed him when he went down to Egypt and lied about Sarah (Ge 12:10-13:4). Moses' strength was in his meekness (Nu 12:3), yet he lost his temper, spoke rashly with his lips, and was not allowed to enter Canaan (Nu 20). Peter was a brave man, but his courage failed him and he denied his Lord three times. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor 10:12, NKJV). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

David Guzik - Relying on how you feel at the moment is not a stable foundation. Peter felt brave at the moment, but would soon be intimidated before a humble servant girl, and deny to her that he even knew Jesus.ii. “It is sometimes easier to bear a great load for Christ than a small one. Some of us could be martyrs at the stake more easily that confessors among sneering neighbors.” (Maclaren)

Lord (master, owner)(2962)(kurios) primarily means the possessor, owner, master, the supreme one, one who is sovereign (used this way of Roman emperors - Act 25:26) and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership and uncontested power. Notice Peter in on breath calls Him "Lord," but in a moment of weakness he denies He is His Lord! O, the waffling weakness of our fallen flesh! 

With You I am ready to go both to prison and to death - This claim would soon be tested and found wanting. Why? Because Jesus would now not be "with him." Peter's theology is good up to a point -- when we recognize and rely on the truth of "with You," that He is with us, in us, for us, before us, behind us, etc, we can stand against the temptation of the Tempter. While we must still make the personal, volitional choice to "stand firm," it is the Spirit of Jesus in us Who enables us to do so, giving us not only the power but also the desire (cf Php 2:13NLT+). 

Ready (2092)(hetoimos from an old noun heteos = fitness) means ready, prepared, in a state of readiness. The modern idiom "Ready, Willing, and Able," aptly describes Peter's self-confidence. As believers we are not to walk the talk depending on our self-confidence but in Spirit dependence on the Spirit (cf Gal 5:16+)! 

John MacArthur - Since Peter had witnessed firsthand countless examples of Christ’s limitless power, he was sure he could withstand anything, as long as Jesus was there. That confidence was revealed a few hours later in Gethsemane, when he fearlessly took on the force sent to arrest Jesus. Confident in his Lord’s power to rescue him, Peter evidently intended to hack his way through the entire detachment, if necessary, beginning with the high priest’s slave (Lk 22:50+).Shortly afterward, however, away from Christ’s presence in the high priest’s courtyard, Peter would cringe in cowardly fear and deny his Lord (Luke 22:54-62) (Ibid)

Jon Courson - Did Peter’s faith fail? No. He believed in the Lord, even though he ended up denying the Lord. Nor did his love fail. What failed? His hope. When he saw Jesus being led away in ropes, being brought to Caiaphas, his hope was lost. Maybe you’re in Peter’s sandals. You believe in the Lord. You have a definite love for the Lord. But your hope has been diminished because you can’t figure out how what’s happening to you could possibly work for good. (ILLUSTRATIONA number of years ago, a study was done on Norwegian wharf rats. After being thrown in the open water, one group paddled for about three and a half minutes before drowning. A second group was thrown in, but plucked out right before they drowned. The next day, when the rats were thrown back into the water, scientists were astounded to find them able to tread water for forty-five minutes or more—evidently because they were hoping they would be rescued as they were the previous day.  The same is true with us. If we don’t have hope that we’ll be rescued, we sink. But if we have hope that a rescue is coming, we can tread water through the hard times. I don’t think it is at all coincidental that the doctrine of the Rapture is called the blessed hope (Titus 2:13) because, although sometimes we feel we’re in a rat race and going under quickly, we know today could be the glorious day of the Lord’s return.


  • "Peter replied,... 'I am ready.'" Well, he was not.
  • God's command is "Be ready" (Matt. 24:44).
  • The believer's prayer should be "Make me ready." Ps. 119:36.  (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

Rod Mattoon - Overconfidence says.....

* I don't need to pray about it. (If Joshua had prayed, he would have realized there was a problem in the camp.)

* I don't need to read the Bible each day or study God's Word.

* I don't need God's help.

* I don't need godly counsel.

* I'll do it my way. I don't need anyone's help or advice.

* I don't need my husband, my wife, or my parents.

* I don't need to give 100% or do my best. I'll just get by!

Luke 22:34   And He said, "I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me."

KJV Luke 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

  • the rooster will not crow today Mt 26:34,74; Mark 14:30,71,72; John 13:38; 18:27
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


And He said, "I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me - Jesus predicts Peter's denial. Peter's failure would happen in the next few hours, before the night was over, because roosters typically crow at dawn's first light. 

Pate writes "Fitzmyer catches the sense of the prophecy – Peter’s ‘triple denial will come so quickly that a cock will not even be able to crow twice.'

Play compilation of rooster's crowing (far more than 3 times).

What is amazing is Peter knew this prophecy about his denial and yet was unable to keep it from being fulfilled! You would have thought after the first denial, Peter would have recalled the prophecy and been alert for two more denials. Clearly Peter's fear of men kicked into gear and stimulated a fleshly response. In one sense, we should not be surprised at Peter's denial. We have all had situations where we knew the truth and yet failed to act on the truth, instead acting in a fleshly manner. 

MacArthur - Despite having given him the name Peter (Mark 3:16), Jesus almost always addressed him as Simon, the lone exception being here in Lk 22:34. Since Peter so often acted like his old self, Jesus usually addressed him by his old name. The twofold intensive repetition, Simon, Simon, reveals pathos, disappointment, and sadness on the Lord’s part over his behavior. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Luke)

Ryle - this is the only place in which our Lord addresses Peter by this name, the name which signified “stone.” It was surely meant to remind him how weak even the strongest disciples are.

F B Meyer - “Was it not well that Peter should know how weak he was; that he might become truly penitent and converted?” 

Rod Mattoon - Peter would deny the Lord before the cock would crow. The Jewish people in that day divided the night into four parts:

  • * Evening, from six to nine
  • * Midnight, nine to twelve
  • * The Cock crow, twelve to three
  • * The Morning, three to six.

The third period gained its name from the fact that roosters began to crow about the end of that period and continued to crow periodically until after daybreak. By the time Jesus and the disciples reached the Mount of Olives it was probably near midnight. Jesus was therefore predicting that, within a very few hours, Peter would desert the Lord and then deny Him three times—before three in the morning, when a cock would normally begin to crow. There would be denial before dawn and failure before first light. In future verses, we find this is what happened. His pride led to his fall. It will destroy you, too, if you are not careful.

You have denied (533)(aparneomai from apó = from + arnéomai = to deny, refuse) means to deny, to refuse to recognize or acknowledge. It is a strengthened form of arneomai and thus mean to deny utterly (to completely deny) as used in the context of Peter denying any connection with Jesus (Mt 26:34, 35, 75, Mk 14:30, 31, 72, Lk 22:34, 22:62). Jesus says His followers must deny self (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34). Aparneomai in this context conveys the basic idea of saying “no," of acting in a wholly selfless manner. It is to disown oneself, to turn away from the idolatry of self-centeredness, to act in a wholly unselfish manner. Aparneomai is used once of Jesus denying men who deny Him  = "He who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God." (Lk 12:9+) Some evangelical commentators (Constable) make the interpretation that Jesus is referring to loss of rewards, but the passage says absolutely nothing about rewards. This is not loss of rewards but loss of one's life in eternal punishment. The ESV Study Bible (borrow) says "The eternal consequences for those who deny Christ, in fact, will be far worse than the persecution that they sought to avoid.Gilbrant writes Jesus "said that whoever denies Him before men (that is, whoever does not acknowledge that he belongs to Jesus) the Lord himself shall reject before the angels of God. The “good news” is that whoever acknowledges Him before men, him the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God."

Friberg summarizes aparneomai - (1) in the NT mainly of denying relationship to a person reject, disown (Mt 26.34); (2) as choosing to live in a selfless way deny or disregard oneself ( Mt 16.24) (Borrow Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament

Aparneomai - 11x in 11v - Matt. 16:24; Matt. 26:34; Matt. 26:35; Matt. 26:75; Mk. 8:34; Mk. 14:30; Mk. 14:31; Mk. 14:72; Lk. 12:9; Lk. 22:34; Lk. 22:61 There is one use of aparneomai in the Septuagint in Isaiah 31:7 of men renouncing their man made idols. 

Yes Peter would deny Jesus but He would return. This event serves as living proof of the indestructible power of the saving faith that God graciously grants to His children! God is able to keep saved those He saves!

J C Ryle on the improbability of Peter's denial - This, be it remembered, was a very remarkable prediction, and a striking evidence of our Lord’s foreknewledge. That Peter should deny his Master at all, that he should actually deny Him that very night after receiving the Lord’s Supper,—that he should deny Him alter plain warnings, and after strong protestations that he would rather die,—and that he should deny his Master three times,—were all most improbable events. Yet they all took place!

Rod Mattoon The Dictionary of Nautical Literacy records a true story that illustrates the destructiveness of overconfidence and pride. During a 1923 training exercise, a naval destroyer called the USS Delphy led a flotilla of seven vessels down the California coast. The USS Delphy was captained by Lieutenant Commander Donald T. Hunter, an experienced navigator and instructor at the Naval Academy.

Without warning, about halfway on their training mission, a thick blanket of fog descended on the ships like a thick white veil. Hunter said it looked like pea soup and it prevented him from getting an accurate evaluation of his location. Contrary to Hunter's calculations, the lead ship was headed right into Devil's Jaw, which was a series of rocky outcroppings that were a scant two miles off the California coast near Santa Barbara. The dangerous area didn't stop Hunter from plowing ahead. This was not surprising, for Hunter was known for his self-confident decisiveness and what others called his "magic infallibility" to guide his ship.

Traveling at 20 knots (23 mph), suddenly the USS Delphy smashed broadside into the rocky Point Arguello shoreline. The force of the massive collision of welded steel and jagged rock split the hull of the USS Delphy in half. One by one, the other destroyers followed the Delphy's lead and smashed into the rocks. Twenty-three naval men died.

The accident resulted in the loss of all seven ships. It still stands as one of the worst peacetime naval disasters in history. Why? Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall. Our pride leads to a forecast for failure.

The Rooster’s Crow  - Robert Morgan

I’ve often thought of Peter when noticing how easily men cry in my office. In my experience, more men than women have broken down during counseling sessions, and often because of guilt. The husband who ruined his marriage. The father whose temper drove away his son. The alcoholic who relapsed.

When the eyes of Jesus scorch a man, when he hears the rooster’s crow and weeps bitterly, determined to change, he is then at last beyond regret, beyond remorse, to a level of sorrow called repentance. Two biblical characters, I’ve found, offer the best advice to men at such junctions.

Peter teaches God-forgiveness. Though Peter denied Jesus three times, the Lord appeared to him privately following the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:5), with a view of restoring him (Luke 22:32). We have no record of the details of that meeting, but Peter undoubtedly confessed his sin in utter self-contempt and contrition; and there he vividly learned the power of the “precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19). Later by the sea, Jesus drew a three-fold affirmation of love from his wounded disciple (John 21:15–19, and the spiritual restoration was deepened.

But another layer of healing is necessary, for it is often easier to be forgiven by God than to forgive oneself. Here, the Old Testament hero Joseph helps us. Just as Jesus was betrayed by Peter, Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers who sold him into slavery. But years later, he said to them: “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5). In other words, “I’ve forgiven you. Now stop beating yourselves up over this. Don’t wallow in it any longer. Put it behind you, for God, who overrules all, has used even this sin for good.”

Our faults and failures are damning matters; but when we kneel before the risen Christ, confessing our sins, His blood forgives us thoroughly; and we rise from our knees to forgive ourselves and to get on with the Master’s business.

Luke 22:35   And He said to them, "When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" They said, "No, nothing."

KJV Luke 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

  • When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals Luke 9:3; 10:4; Mt 10:9,10; Mark 6:8,9
  • you did not lack anything, did you Luke 12:29-31; Genesis 48:15; Deuteronomy 8:2,3,16; Ps 23:1; 34:9,10; 37:3; Mt 6:31-33
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Luke alone has these instructions (Luke 22:35-38). 

And He said - This phrase ("and He said") might seem at first glance to be insignificant, but Luke uses it 8 times in Luke 22 as a way to emphasize these are Jesus' last critical words of teaching.

Lk. 22:10; Lk. 22:15; Lk. 22:25; Lk. 22:34; Lk. 22:35; Lk. 22:36; Lk. 22:38; Lk. 22:70

To them - Now Jesus turns His focus to all the disciples, not just Peter, although as explained above when  Jesus used the pronoun "you" in Lk 22:31 it was in the plural so He was in effect speaking of all the disciples.

When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" - Jesus is reminding them of their past evangelistic tours and how they did not lack anything because they were favorably treated. Then they were received with goodwill and hospitality. The Greek construction anticipates the disciples giving a negative response.  

They said, "No, nothing" - They remembered their previous time when they were sent out on their own and there was no lack. Luke recorded Jesus' marching orders to the 12 and to the 70 on their past tours. 

And He said to them (THE TWELVE - Lk 9:1), “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. (Lk 9:3-4+)

Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 “Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 “Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. 5 “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 “Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (Lk 10:1-8+)

John MacArthur explains that "Being welcomed by Jewish society (and even some Gentiles) reinforced their view that all was on track for the arrival of the messianic kingdom (cf. Luke 19:11+). Despite Jesus’ teaching on Wednesday evening that His return and the establishing of His kingdom would not happen until the distant future, the disciples still clung stubbornly to their embedded ideas. Even after Christ’s resurrection they still expected Him to immediately establish His kingdom (Acts 1:6+)." (See The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Lenski - They learned the great lesson of absolute trust in their Sender. He did provide for them through the name and the fame with which he had filled all Galilee. Never once had he failed them. (Lenski New Testament Commentary – The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Luke 22:36   And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.

KJV Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  • But now, Mt 10:22-25; John 15:20; 16:33; 1 Thessalonians 2:14,15; 3:4; 1 Pe 4:1
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


About face is a military term used as a drill command in which a unit or soldier makes a 180-degree turn and figuratively signifies a reversal of direction in regard to attitude, behavior, or point of view. 

And He said to them, "But now" - (alla nun = an emphatic contrast) The previous passage describe "then," but now is a different time! This term of contrast introduces an radical reversal of Jesus' marching orders regarding their future evangelistic campaigns. Difficult days lie ahead. After His crucifixion everything would change! Jesus' arrest and crucifixion would trigger opposition, rejection and even overt persecution of His disciples. Now they would need to put in place things He had stated earlier like "Count the cost!" (cf Lk 14:28+). Jesus had hinted at what the future held when He said "Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves." (Lk 10:3).

Why the radical change? Clearly Jesus was with them in the past and was still generally popular because of His miracles and His healing. Soon, Jesus would no longer be with them. The past was their time of "training," but now they were to put into practice what they had learned. Luke does not describe the critical provision they would have which the did not have in the past and that provision of course was the empowering Holy Spirit (cf Acts 1:8+). 

MacArthur explains "having rejected Christ, the nation would no longer welcome His disciples. Instead, they would be hated and persecuted—just as Jesus had warned them (Lk 9:23-24; Lk 12:11-12; Lk 14:26-33; cf. Mt. 5:10; Jn 15:18-25; 16:1-4, 33; 2 Ti 3:12)."

Whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag - From now on the disciples would need to take their own supplies. 

And whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one - This is a surprising instruction considering Jesus non-confrontational teaching (e.g., Jn 18:36, Mt 5:44, Mt 5:39). As noted most commentaries see this allusion to a sword as figurative, especially in view of the fact that a few verses later He rebukes Peter for using a sword to defend himself (Mt. 26:52). Furthermore Jesus consistently taught a non-confrontational response to those one's opponents (cf Jn 18:36, Mt 5:39, Mt 5:44, Lk 6:35-36; Lk 22:52) A minority see the sword as literal (eg, Lenski, Plummer, Liefeld)

Gilbrant - In medieval times it was wrongfully interpreted (along with the "compel" of Lk 14:23) to mean it was justifiable to use even cruel means to advance the gospel (ED: THE CRUSADES)

MacArthur on buying a sword - The reference is figurative, and not to an actual sword. When Peter attacked the high priest’s slave with a sword, Jesus said, “Stop! No more of this” (Lk 22:51). Nor is there any record in Acts of the apostles using force to defend themselves. (Ibid)

A T Robertson on the meaning of Jesus' instruction - They are to expect persecution and bitter hostility (John 15:18-21). Jesus does not mean that his disciples are to repel force by force, but that they are to be ready to defend his cause against attack. Changed conditions bring changed needs. This language can be misunderstood as it was then.

Wiersbe - Our Lord's counsel in Luke 22:35-38 was not fully understood by the disciples, because they interpreted what He said quite literally. Peter's use of the sword in the Garden is evidence of this (Luke 22:49-51). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

TRUST GOD AND KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY - That dusty piece of wisdom, dating from the Revolutionary War era, says that believers should do whatever they reasonably can to fend for themselves, and then place their faith in God. Jesus gave similar advice to the disciples (Lk 22:35-36). Once before he had sent them out to preach, telling them not to worry about pedestrian things like a change of clothes or money with which to buy food. And that trip had worked out just fine, as the disciples well remembered. But now—with his death looming just over the horizon—now it was time to think of more pragmatic concerns. Are you facing a significant decision or even a crisis? Do whatever you can legally, morally, and ethically to prepare yourself, and then trust God's gracious provision for you. (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

Luke 22:37   "For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS'; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment."

BGT  Luke 22:37 λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῦτο τὸ γεγραμμένον δεῖ τελεσθῆναι ἐν ἐμοί, τό· καὶ μετὰ ἀνόμων ἐλογίσθη· καὶ γὰρ τὸ περὶ ἐμοῦ τέλος ἔχει.

KJV  Luke 22:37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

NET  Luke 22:37 For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was counted with the transgressors.' For what is written about me is being fulfilled."

CSB  Luke 22:37 For I tell you, what is written must be fulfilled in Me: And He was counted among the outlaws. Yes, what is written about Me is coming to its fulfillment."

ESV  Luke 22:37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors.' For what is written about me has its fulfillment."

NIV  Luke 22:37 It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."

NLT  Luke 22:37 For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: 'He was counted among the rebels.' Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true."

NRS  Luke 22:37 For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was counted among the lawless'; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled."

YLT  Luke 22:37 for I say to you, that yet this that hath been written it behoveth to be fulfilled in me: And with lawless ones he was reckoned, for also the things concerning me have an end.'

GWN  Luke 22:37 I can guarantee that the Scripture passage which says, 'He was counted with criminals,' must find its fulfillment in me. Indeed, whatever is written about me will come true."

NKJ  Luke 22:37 "For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me:`And He was numbered with the transgressors.' For the things concerning Me have an end."

NAB  Luke 22:37 For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, 'He was counted among the wicked'; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment."

MIT  Luke 22:37 For I tell you that what has been written in reference to me—'and he was classed with criminals'—must come to a climax. Indeed, that text refers to me."

NJB  Luke 22:37 because I tell you these words of scripture are destined to be fulfilled in me: He was counted as one of the rebellious. Yes, what it says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.'

ASV  Luke 22:37 For I say unto you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in me, And he was reckoned with transgressors: for that which concerneth me hath fulfilment.

DBY  Luke 22:37 for I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned with the lawless: for also the things concerning me have an end.

BBE  Luke 22:37 For I say to you that these words will be put into effect in me, And he was numbered among the evil-doers: for what has been said in the Writings about me has an end.

NIRV  Luke 22:37 It is written, 'He was counted among those who had committed crimes.'Ra I tell you that what is written about me must come true. Yes, it is already coming true." { prsupa/rsup Isaiah 53:12 }

RSV  Luke 22:37 For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, `And he was reckoned with transgressors'; for what is written about me has its fulfilment."

  • this which is written must be fulfilled in Me Luke 22:22; 18:31; 24:44-46; Mt 26:54-56; John 10:35; 19:28-30; Acts 13:27-29
  • AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS Luke 23:32; Isaiah 53:12+; Mark 15:27,28; 2 Cor 5:21; Galatians 3:13
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


With this verse Dr Luke "closes the door" on the Upper Room discourse after which he moves to the Mount of Olives for the next "act" in God's grand drama of redemption.

For - Term of explanation. What is Jesus explaining? He is explaining that the reversal of public opinion from adulation to antagonism did not come as a surprise to Him but was predicted and is why He had just instructed them to be prepared for a major change in the reaction to their future ministries. 

I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me - This speaks of God's plan of redemption which must be fulfilled. God predicted it, that settles it. It will come to pass! God is faithful to keep His Word. 

Must (1163)(dei) which expresses the necessity and inevitability of this event. God said it and set it in motion and that settles it whether we believe it or not! It must happen just as He has decreed. God's predetermined providential plan of redemption was in motion and could not be derailed by men or the devil!

AND HE WAS NUMBERED (reckoned, counted) WITH TRANSGRESSORS - Remember "all caps" in the NAS signifies a direct OT quote, in this case from a phrase in Isaiah 53:12+. What this verse does NOT mean is that Jesus was crucified between two convicted transgressors. Of course He was but that is not the meaning of this phrase. The point is that Jesus is using this prophetic passage to explain to the disciples that though He was innocent, His enemies would treat Him as a criminal ("transgressor") and crucify Him as a criminal. The disciples would have a difficult time accepting or understanding what the Jewish leaders would soon treat Jesus as a criminal. So Jesus tells them this has to happen to fulfill what was prophesied about Him in Isaiah. 

Isaiah 53:12 (commentary) Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

What an amazing paradox in this Isaiah passage for Jesus Who was "separated from sinners" (Hebrews 7:26+), to be regarded as a transgressor! (cf Mt 9:3, 26:65, Mk 14:64, Jn 10:33, Jn 18:30)

Was numbered (regarded)(3049)(logizomai from lógos = reason, word, account) refers to a process of careful study or reasoning which results in the arriving at a conclusion. Wow! The Jewish religious leaders did a careful study of Jesus and concluded He should be regarded as a transgressor of the Law, thus fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy! 

Transgressors (lawless) (459)(anomos from a = without + nomos = law; see study of related word anomia) means literally without law and thus lawless. Vine notes that  anomos can convey the thought of not simply doing what is unlawful, but of flagrant defiance of the known will of God, the absolute antithesis of the One Whose blood was as "a lamb unblemished (amomos NOT anomos!) and spotless (aspilos)." (1 Peter 1:19+). 

For that which refers to Me has its fulfillment (telos).- Marshall - "My life's work is at an end." Has (echo) is present tense indicating God's plan is in progress and is on time. That which was written about Me (especially ISAIAH 53 which is not read in Jewish synagogues for obvious reasons!!!) is having its fulfillment or is being fulfilled, reaching its goal. I like King James' and Young's Literal translations which say "the things concerning Me have an end." 

Fulfillment (end) (5056)(telos) means an end, a termination, a completion. Telos refers to a consummation, a goal achieved, a result attained, or a realization. Any one of these "definitions" would be an appropriate description of the prophecy in Isaiah which was fulfilled in Jesus being treated as a common criminal. 

Vincent on "have an end" - The phrase is synonymous with be accomplished (τελεσθῆναι, Rev., fulfilled). In classical Greek this latter word is often used of the fulfilment of an oracle: also of things which are settled beyond controversy. The two expressions here give the two meanings. The prophecy is fulfilled; the things concerning me are finally settled. (Word Studies in the New Testament)

Leon Morris - Jesus goes on to inform the disciples that the words of Isaiah 53:12 are about to be fulfilled. This is noteworthy as one of the few places in the New Testament in which that chapter (ISAIAH 53+) is explicitly applied to Jesus. Jesus sees his death as one in which he will be one with sinners. This surely points to that death as substitutionary: Jesus will take the place of sinful people. Since he is in such a plight the disciples are also in danger. Rieu brings out something of the danger to both the disciples and Jesus with his rendering: ‘Indeed for me the course is run.’ (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

What the Bible teaches –No words from the lips of the Lord more fully reveal who He is and why He was in the world. He is the perfect Servant of Jehovah who came to be marred, bruised and crushed as the sin offering, suffering as the perfect Substitute for the sins of many.

MacArthur - The hatred that Christ and His followers would face did not come as a surprise to Him, but was the direct fulfillment of Scripture. The Lord made that clear by bracketing His quote of Isaiah 53:12+ with the statements, “this which is written must be fulfilled in Me” and “for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment” (there are at least five other New Testament references to Jesus fulfilling Isaiah 53 [Mt. 8:17; Jn 12:38; Acts 8:32-33; Ro 10:16; 1 Pe 2:22]). (MacArthur New Testament Commentary-Luke)

Luke 22:38   They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

BGT  Luke 22:38 οἱ δὲ εἶπαν· κύριε, ἰδοὺ μάχαιραι ὧδε δύο. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἱκανόν ἐστιν.

BGM Luke 22:38 ὁ@dnmp δέ@cc λέγω@viaa3p κύριος@nvmsc ἰδού@i μάχαιρα@nnfpc ὧδε@b δύο@acnfpn ὁ@dnms δέ@cc λέγω@viaa3s αὐτός@rpdmp ἱκανός@annnsn εἰμί@vipa3s

KJV  Luke 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

NET  Luke 22:38 So they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." Then he told them, "It is enough."

CSB  Luke 22:38 "Lord," they said, "look, here are two swords." "Enough of that!" He told them.

ESV  Luke 22:38 And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough."

NIV  Luke 22:38 The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.

NLT  Luke 22:38 "Look, Lord," they replied, "we have two swords among us." "That's enough," he said.

NRS  Luke 22:38 They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." He replied, "It is enough."

YLT  Luke 22:38 And they said, 'Sir, lo, here are two swords;' and he said to them, 'It is sufficient.'

GWN  Luke 22:38 The disciples said, "Lord, look! Here are two swords!" Then Jesus said to them, "That's enough!"

NKJ  Luke 22:38 So they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

NAB  Luke 22:38 Then they said, "Lord, look, there are two swords here." But he replied, "It is enough!"

MIT  Luke 22:38 They said, "Lord, look! We have two swords here." He replied to them, "That is enough."

NJB  Luke 22:38 They said, 'Lord, here are two swords.' He said to them, 'That is enough!'

ASV  Luke 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

DBY  Luke 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold here are two swords. And he said to them, It is enough.

BBE  Luke 22:38 And they said, Lord, here are two swords. And he said, It is enough.

NAS  Luke 22:38 And they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

NIRV  Luke 22:38 The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.

RSV  Luke 22:38 And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough."

RWB  Luke 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said to them, It is enough.

WEB  Luke 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here {are} two swords. And he said to them, It is enough.

  • It is enough Mt 26:52-54; Jn 18:36; 2 Co 10:3,4; Eph 6:10-18; 1 Th 5:8; 1 Pe 5:9
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


The said (and they said) Lord, look (idou), here are two swords (machaira) - This is a strange statement by the disciples considering Jesus had just described He would be regarded as a transgressor! They seem to have their mind focused on His instruction about sword! And they go on to interpret Jesus previous words as meaning a literal sword and thus they produced two from their group. Jesus responds with what amounts to a rebuke. 

It is enough (hikanos) -  This translation gives could be taken to mean something like this "Two swords are enough. We won't need any more." However that is not likely what Jesus meant. More likely is that He was giving them a firm reply which might be paraphrased “Enough of this talk about swords.” "Enough of this kind of talk."

Pate writes "Jesus’ answer, ‘Enough of this’, is to be preferred to that of, ‘it is enough.’ The latter might imply that Jesus affirmed the disciples’ suggestion, acknowledging that two swords would be sufficient for the conflict. But the context clearly rules out that rendering.”

What the Bible teaches -  By saying, 'It is enough', the Lord did not mean that two swords were enough, but the subject had been discussed enough" (J. Heading). The disciples took literally what the Lord had meant figuratively. The chief purpose of His instruction was to prepare them for the change they were to experience when He left them.

NET Note on "It is enough" - . The disciples mistakenly took Jesus to mean that they should prepare for armed resistance, something he will have to correct in 22:50–51. The disciples' misunderstanding caused Jesus to terminate the discussion. 

David Guzik - Jesus did not mean, two swords will be enough to battle the crowd that comes to arrest Me....It seems that the disciples didn’t understand what would happen in the next several hours. Later Christians also did not understand what Jesus meant here. “In his notorious papal bull Unam Sanctum, Boniface VIII (A.D. 1302) built on this text his doctrine that the Pope has the right to exercise secular as well as spiritual autocratic rule over mankind – the two swords, he said, are the spiritual sword and the secular sword.” (Geldenhuys) (WOW! TALK ABOUT SPIRITUALIZING A PASSAGE TO JUSTIFY YOUR ACTIONS! CORRUPT!)

Leon Morris - Jesus’ response, It is enough, means not ‘Two will be sufficient’ but rather, ‘Enough of this kind of talk!’ He dismisses a subject in which the disciples were so hopelessly astray. (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

Steven Cole - So Jesus told the disciples to sell their robe and buy a sword. And, when they produced two swords, He said, “It is enough.” What did He mean? In light of Jesus’ command to Peter in the garden to put away his sword, and Christ’s non-resistance to the Jewish guards (Lu 22:53), it is obvious that Jesus was speaking symbolically, not literally, when He told them to buy swords. He was referring to the swords as a symbol of preparation for the intense spiritual conflict just ahead. When the disciples took Jesus literally and produced two swords and He replied, “It is enough,” He was dismissing the subject in light of their continuing spiritual dullness. They just didn’t get it. (Luke 22:39-53 Prayer or Temptation?)

John Martin on it is enough -  This response has been interpreted in at least four ways: (1) Some understand the words as a rebuke to the disciples. If that were the case, then Jesus was saying, "Enough of this kind of talk!" (Leon Morris, The Gospel according to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary, p. 310) (2) Others understand the words to denote the fact that even two swords are enough to show human inadequacy at stopping God's plan for the death of Christ. Swords could not stop God's purpose and plan. (3) Jesus may simply have been saying that two swords were adequate for the 12 of them. (4) Others see the clause in conjunction with the quotation from Isaiah and understand Jesus to mean that by possessing two swords they would be classified by others as transgressors or criminals. This fourth view seems preferable. (See Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Luke 22:39   And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.

KJV Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

  • he came Mt 26:36-38; Mark 14:32-34; John 18:1,2
  • as Luke 21:37; Mark 11:11,19; 13:3
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Mark 11:11; 19+ Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. (11:19) When evening came, they would go out of the city. 

Mount of Olives


Leon Morris - Luke locates the agony only on the Mount of Olives (Matthew and Mark tell us that it was at Gethsemane). His account is quite short. Where the other Synoptists tell us that Jesus went away and prayed three times and record what he said between the first and second occasions, Luke condenses the story and gives us just one example of Jesus’ prayer. Unlike them, too, he does not tell of Jesus’ singling out of Peter and James and John. He emphasizes the prayer of Jesus rather than the failure of the apostles. Godet sees the incident as very important, for it differentiates the sacrifice of the freely consenting Jesus from those of animals with no say in the matter. ‘(ED: cf Heb 10:7-10) At Gethsemane Jesus did not drink the cup; He consented to drink it.’ The real battle was fought here. (Borrow The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary)

J C Ryle - THE verses before us contain St. Luke’s account of our Lord’s agony in the garden. It is a passage of Scripture which we should always approach with peculiar reverence. The history which it records is one of the “deep things of God.” While we read it, the words of Exodus should come across our minds, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet; the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” (Ex 3:5.)

Warren Wiersbe has an interesting approach to this last section (Lk 22:39-71) - Perhaps the best way to grasp the spiritual lessons behind the tragic events of that night is to focus on the symbols that appear in the narrative. The Bible is a picture book as well as a book of history and biography, and these pictures can say a great deal to us. In this passage, there are six symbols that can help us better understand our Lord's suffering and death. They are: a lonely Garden (Lk 22:39), a costly cup (Lk 22:40-46), a hypocritical kiss (Lk 22:47-48), a useless sword (Lk 22:49-53), a crowing cock (Lk 22:54-62), and a glorious throne (Lk 22:63-71). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Parallel passages - 

Matthew 26:36  Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”  39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He *came to the disciples and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 “Keep watching and praying (both are present imperatives see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Mark 14:32-42+ They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 33 And He *took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed (ekthambeo) and troubled (ademoneo). 34 And He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved (perilupos) to the point of death; remain here and keep watch (gregoreuo in present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey)(JESUS KNEW HIS CAPTURE WAS IMMINENT).” 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground (LUKE HAS KNELT) and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words (John 13-17, indicating the disciples were there during His high priestly prayer in John 17), He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. (18:2) Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.

And He came out - Out of the upper root and out of the city gates of Jerusalem, down the Kidron Valley (which means darkness or dark waters) and up to the Mount of Olives. The Kidron Valley is said by a number of sources to also be called the Valley of Jehoshapat which takes on special significance at the end of this age, the prophet Joel recording God's promise...

I will gather all the nations, And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. (means "Yahweh Judges") Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. (Joel 3:2+, cf Joel 3:12+)

Mattoon makes another observation regarding the Kidron Valley - The waters of the Kidron were also darkened by blood. During the Passover, as many as 21/2 million Jews were in Jerusalem. This would mean that over 250,000 lambs would be slain in the Temple in one week. The blood of those lambs was poured on the altar as a crimson offering to God. From the altar, there was a channel which led down to the Brook Kidron. The blood from the altar drained down this channel into the brook Kidron. When Jesus crossed the brook to go to the Garden of Gethsemane, it would soon be solid red from the blood of the slain Passover lambs. Jesus was about to cross the dark waters of crucifixion and death. The sacrifice He was about to make with His own blood would be vivid in His mind. His sacrifice would also cancel the need for the brook to drain away any further blood of sacrificial lambs for He would be the final sacrifice. For this reason, He cried on the cross, "It is finished!" It is very interesting to note that in the Old Testament, the Brook Kidron was also a place of suffering and anxiety for someone else in Jesus' family. When King David was fleeing from Absalom, he too, had to cross the Kidron. Their situations were very similar. David was betrayed and rejected by his nation and so was Jesus. Jesus was betrayed by Judas. The betrayers of both men ended up being hung. Absalom hung in a tree and Judas hung himself. (Treasures from Luke: Volume Six)

Proceeded as was His custom - This detail is important because it would signify that the betrayer Judas knew of Jesus' habitual practice and was counting on Him being true to form. Of course Jesus knew what was to transpire, but that His HOUR had come and there was no further need for secrecy. The clock was ticking and would soon culminate in the Cross of Christ, but Judas' betrayal would set the dastardly deed in motion. 

A T Robertson adds "It was because Judas knew the habit of Jesus of going to Gethsemane at night that he undertook to betray him without waiting for the crowd to go home after the feast."

Custom (habit)(1485)(ethos from etho = to be used, to be accustomed) refers to a usual or customary manner of behavior, habit, pattern of behavior which is more or less fixed by tradition or the usual practice. It may be established by law or otherwise generally sanctioned by the society. 

To the Mount of Olives - The other Gospel accounts add details - John 18:1 says "there was a garden in which He entered with His disciples." Matthew 26:36 "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane ( meaning "oil press"), and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”"

Bob Utley - The Mount of Olives is really a ridge to the east of Jerusalem running about 2.5 miles. It is about 300–400’ higher than the city. This makes it a beautiful place to overlook the holy city and the temple. Jesus apparently camped out here while in Jerusalem (cf. 21:37).

David Guzik on to the mount of Olives - Jesus had spent His nights there during that week (Luke 21:37), and He refused to change this routine, even though He knew it meant that Judas could easily find Him.

And the disciples also followed Him - So the 11 remaining loyal disciples came with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. And remember it was Thursday night. 

THOUGHT - In Luke the phrase Follow Me in the present imperative is found in Lk. 5:27; Lk. 9:23; Lk. 9:59; Lk. 18:22. Apparently He did not need to command them any longer to follow Him, for they followed out of loyalty and love, having just witnessed a flagrant example of disloyalty and evil in the betrayal of Judas. Do you follow Him? Do you follow Him because you are commanded to do so or because you desire to do so out of loyalty and love for Jesus?

Disciples (3101)(mathetes from manthano = to learn which Vine says is "from a root math, indicating thought accompanied by endeavor". Gives us our English = "mathematics") describes a person who learns from another by instruction, whether formal or informal. Discipleship includes the idea of one who intentionally learns by inquiry and observation (cf inductive Bible study) and thus mathetes is more than a mere pupil. A mathetes describes an adherent of a teacher. 

Followed (190)(akoloutheo from a = expresses union with, likeness + keleuthos = a road, way) means to walk the same road (Ponder that simple definition dear believer - Am I willing to walk the same road as Jesus?) 

Matthew Henry's Concise - Lk 22:39-46. Every description which the evangelists give of the state of mind in which our Lord entered upon this conflict, proves the tremendous nature of the assault, and the perfect foreknowledge of its terrors possessed by the meek and lowly Jesus. Here are three things not in the other evangelists. 1. When Christ was in his agony, there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. It was a part of his humiliation that he was thus strengthened by a ministering spirit. 2. Being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. Prayer, though never out of season, is in a special manner seasonable when we are in an agony. 3. In this agony his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down. This showed the travail of his soul. We should pray also to be enabled to resist unto the shedding of our blood, striving against sin, if ever called to it. When next you dwell in imagination upon the delights of some favourite sin, think of its effects as you behold them here! See its fearful effects in the garden of Gethsemane, and desire, by the help of God, deeply to hate and to forsake that enemy, to ransom sinners from whom the Redeemer prayed, agonized, and bled. 

James Smith - GETHSEMANE Luke 22:39–54

    “So, as thou wert the seed and not the flower,
    Having no form or comeliness in chief,
    Sharing thy thought with thy acquaintance grief,
    THOU wert despised, rejected in Thine hour
    Of loneliness and God triumphant power.”

There is a deep, soul-moving pathos in these words: “He went, as He was wont, to the Mount of Olives.” This was Christ’s prayer-closet, and this was His last, and for ever memorable visit. The saving interests of a dying world, and the eternal honour of His Holy Name are now to be cast into the crucible. The issues of this night’s awful work will affect Heaven, earth, and hell, and stretch out to the uttermost ages of eternity. In a garden the first Adam fell through sin; in a garden the second Adam triumphed through suffering. Gethsemane was to Christ a place of—

I. Solemn Loneliness. “He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast” (Lk 22:41). Far enough to be beyond their reach of help. He trod the wine-press of atoning suffering alone. On the great day of atonement the High Priest alone had to do the work (Lev. 16:29–30). “Jesus paid it all.” “Nothing in my hand I bring.”

II. Prayerful Resignation (Lk 22:42). This woeful cup was enough to crush into nothing an ordinary mortal. Christ knew its terrible contents, for He well knew the holiness of God and the heinousness of sin. The only way this cup could pass from us was through the “nevertheless, not My will,” of Jesus Christ.

III. Heavenly Succour. “There appeared an angel strengthening Him” (Lk 22:43). This angel was highly honoured in having a hand in such needful and glorious work. Doubtless he would be remembered for it after the Ascension. Will we not feel like thanking Him when we go to Heaven for strengthening the Redeemer in His way to make atonement for our sins?

IV. Awful Suffering. The agonising prayer and the “drops of blood” tell of a tender, sensitive heart, crushed and bruised in the mortar of love by the weight of hated sin—not His own (2 Cor. 5:21). But this prayer, with strong crying and tears, was heard (Heb. 5:7). If sin imputed to Him brought such agony of soul, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”

V. Cruel Betrayal (Lk 22:47, 48). The kiss of Judas was to the “Man of Sorrows” as the bite of a serpent. This was the first salutation Christ received from man after taking the cup of the curse on his behalf. “Man’s inhumanity to man” is as nothing compared with his inhumanity to God. We but give Jesus the Judas kiss when we give Him the lips of profession and deny him a heart of love.

VI. Merciful Miracle (Lk 22:50–51). Even Christ’s own unparalleled sufferings did not check His sympathy for the misfortunes of an enemy. “He touched his ear,” undoing the revenge of Peter’s sword. What self-forgetting love was His! The power that healed the ear could have hurled the whole band of mockers into perdition.

VII. Satanic Power. “This is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Lk 22:52, 53). All who oppose Jesus Christ are acting as the agents of the Devil. The triumph of the wicked is short (Job 20:5). Creatures that live in the dark are usually fierce and furious. Walk in the light (John 3:19–21).

A W Tozer on Disciples - True discipleship is obeying Jesus Christ and learning of Him and following Him and doing what He tells you to do, keeping His commandments and carrying out His will. That kind of a person is a Christian—and no other kind is.

  • A true disciple has not taken an impulsive leap in the dark. That person is one who has become a Christian after deep thought and proper consideration.
  • A true disciple has reached the point in Christian experience where there is no turning back. Follow him or her for 24 hours of the day and night. You will find you can count on that person's faithfulness to Christ and his or her joyful abiding in the Word of God.
  • A true disciple has felt the sense of personal sin and the need to be released from it.
  • There is nothing that Jesus has ever done for any of His disciples that He will not do for any other of His disciples!
  • A true disciple has allowed the Word of God to search his or her heart
  • A true disciple has come to believe that Jesus Christ is the only person who can release him or her from guilt.
  • A true disciple has committed himself or herself without equivocation, without reservation to Jesus Christ the Savior.
  • A true disciple does not consider Christianity a part-time commitment. That person has become a Christian in all departments of his or her life.
  • Christianity on impulse is not the answer to discipleship. God isn't going to stampede us into the kingdom of God.
  • As Christian disciples, we should be whatever we are wherever we are. Like a diamond. A diamond doesn't adjust—it is always a diamond.

And so, Christians ought always to be Christians. We are not Christians if we have to wait for the right atmosphere to practice our religion. We are not Christians if we have to go to church to be blessed. We are not Christians until we are thoroughly Christ's—until we have reached the point of no return, not seasonal anymore—but regular always. Then, the Lord says, we are real disciples. We are following on to know the Lord!  (The Tozer Quotable II: More Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)

Luke 22:40   When He arrived at the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."

KJV Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

  • Pray Luke 22:46; 11:4; 1 Chronicles 4:10; Ps 17:5; 19:13; 119:116,117,133; Pr 30:8,9; Mt 6:13; 26:41; Mark 14:38; 2 Cor 12:7-10; Ephesians 6:18,19; 1 Peter 4:7; 5:8,9; Revelation 3:10
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Parallel passages: (Jesus praying in the Garden is in the Synoptics but not John).

Matthew 26:36  Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 

Mark 14:32+ They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 

When He arrived at the place - From the other Gospels, "the place" was the Garden of Gethsemane. We don't know exactly what time of the night it was, but very likely it was close to midnight. The Jewish regulations called for the Passover meal to be consumed before midnight. It would have taken them some time to leave the city and make their way up the mount. Gethsemane means "olive press" and this was apropos considering the fact that Jesus would be pressed hard by thoughts of the impending crucifixion. 

William Barclay on the Garden of Gethsemane - The space within Jerusalem was so limited that there was no room for gardens. Many well-to-do people, therefore, had private gardens out on the Mount of Olives. Some wealthy friend had given Jesus the privilege of using such a garden, and it was there that Jesus went to fight his lonely battle.

The following chart is from Rod Mattoon

The Garden of Eden

The Garden of Gethsemane

All was delightful.

All was dreadful & despicable.

Adam parleyed with Satan.

The Last Adam, Jesus, prays with the Father.

Adam disobeyed and sinned.

The Savior suffered and obeyed.

Adam is conquered by sin.

Jesus conquered His own will.

Adam took fruit from Eve's hand.

Christ took the cup from His Father's hand.

God sought for Adam.

The Last Adam sought God His Father.

The Self-indulgence of Adam ruined us.

The agonies of the Second Adam restored us.

Adam's attitude, "My will be done."

Jesus' attitude was, "Thy will be done."

Mattoon on garden in Scripture - Man was created in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis chapter two, we find a garden of tragedy where the seeds of death were planted. The events that took place in Eden led to the events in Gethsemane, which is the garden of testing where death stalked our Savior and beat at His door.

Wiersbe asks "But why a Garden? Human history began in a Garden (Gen. 2:7-25) and so did human sin (Gen. 3). For the redeemed, the whole story will climax in a "garden city" where there will be no sin (Rev. 21:1-22:7). But between the Garden where man failed and the Garden where God reigns is Gethsemane, the Garden where Jesus accepted the cup from the Father's hand." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Hendriksen - The Shepherd is in the process of laying down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11). He must make, and wants to make, a voluntary sacrifice, the only kind of sacrifice that will suffice as an atonement for the sins of all those who repose their trust in him. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

He said to them - In speaking "to them," He is addressing Peter, James and John (the latter being the two sons of Zebedee) who accompanied Jesus into the actual olive grove. The other 8 disciples apparently remained at the entrance or gate leading into the garden. As MacArthur says "It is likely that the garden was fenced or walled and had an entrance, perhaps even a gate."

Although not mentioned by Luke, Matthew and Mark both describe Jesus' deep distress - 

Mt 26:37-38 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved (lupeo) and distressed (ademoneo). 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved (perilupos cf the feeling of the rich young ruler when Jesus told him to give up his wealth for the Kingdom - Lk 18:23+), to the point of death; remain (meno in aorist imperative = speaks of urgency) here and keep watch (gregoreuo in present imperative = keep on keeping watch!) with Me.” 

Mk 14:33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed (ekthambeo-scroll down) and troubled (ademoneo). 34 And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved (perilupos = picture of being "surrounded by sorrow") to the point of death; remain (meno in aorist imperative = speaks of urgency) here and keep watch (gregoreuo in present imperative = keep on keeping watch!).”

Comment: Why would Jesus command them to "keep watch"? Clearly He knew the betrayer was aware of where they were and would soon be on his way to the Garden, for as John wrote "Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples." (Jn 18:2) 

MacArthur - As Isaiah prophesied He would be, the Messiah our Lord was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). The Gospels record that He grieved over Israel’s hardness of heart (Mark 3:5), the plight of a deaf man (Mark 7:34), the superficiality of Israel’s religious leaders (Mark 8:12), at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35), and over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). But the extremity of Christ’s grief came in Gethsemane on the night before His death, when He “offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety” (Heb. 5:7). Christ’s sorrow in facing death as the sin bearer is beyond comprehension. It defies description and surpasses understanding, because what Jesus endured is absolutely unique and without any parallel in human experience. The account of His temptation in the garden confronts those who read it with an incalculable mystery. It leaves them awestruck over Christ’s agony in facing the Father’s anger at the cross and stunned by the intensity of this greatest of all battles against temptation. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Luke)

Pray that you may not enter into temptation - This command is not mentioned by Matthew or Mark but probably follows Jesus' commands to "remain here and keep watch." (Mt 26:38, Mk 14:34). Enter into temptation means to "give into temptation" or to succumb to its power to entice us into commit sin.

Pray (4336)(proseuchomai) is used only of prayer to God and here is a command in the present imperative, Jesus calling His men to persist in prayer in this crucial hour. And yet there is no record that they prayed even in face of having been commanded in essence to "pray without ceasing." 

Temptation (3986) (peirasmos from peirazo = to make trial of, try, tempt, prove in either a good or bad sense) describes first the idea of putting to the test and then refers to the tests that come in order to discover a person’s nature or the quality of some thing. Think of yourself as a tube of "spiritual toothpaste". Pressure brings out what's really on the inside and this would certainly soon prove to the case for Peter and all the disciples. The context of perirasmos determines whether the intended purpose of the "temptation" is for good or for evil. 

Hendriksen - How wonderfully considerate is the Master. How big is his heart. So big that even during this night of bitter woe there is room in it for "others." His heart goes out to them, for he fully realizes that the wrath of the Sanhedrin will not be appeased when he himself, the Leader, is caught. That wrath will be vented next upon those who have been following him. As a result, these disciples will be tempted to disown their Leader. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

THOUGHT- The practical lesson of this passage is that if Jesus needed to pray when facing the most intense temptation in all eternity, His disciples need to pray in the face of daily temptation. Have you learned this lesson? When temptation knocks, do you rely on self-confidence and over estimation of your strength, and open the door yourself or do you send "prayer" (so to speak) to answer the persistent knocking? (In truth it is a good preventative to be praying BEFORE temptation knocks!) 

MacArthur adds that "Jesus’ words are a warning against being caught prayerless when the full force of temptation hits, and are a promise that help awaits those who pray."

NET Note - Jesus' instructions to pray not to fall into temptation is an allusion to Luke 22:28–38, especially 22:31. The temptation is Satan's challenge to them to defect, like what happened to Judas and what will happen to Peter. 

Constable - Only Luke wrote that He told them to pray for this, and only Luke mentioned that Jesus gave this command to all the disciples ("to them" and the verb pray is also plural). The effect is that the reader sees all the disciples failing. (Luke 22 Commentary)

This is an interesting passage for Jesus had earlier stateed "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail," (Lk 22:32), but now He exhorts them to pray. And just as Jesus prayed for the disciples, He prays for us (Ro 8:34, Heb 7:25), but that does not relieve us of the responsibility to pray. 

MacArthur comments "there is no indication that they uttered a single breath of prayer, no hint that they called on the Father to strengthen them. In smug self-confidence, they still thought of themselves as loyal, dependable, and invincible. Like many believers throughout the history of the church, they foolishly mistook their good intentions for strength. The sinless Son of God felt a desperate need for communion with His heavenly Father, but His sinful, weak disciples, as so often they do today felt no desperation about their weakness and vulnerability. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew)

Ryle on enter into temptation - Let it be carefully noted, that to be assaulted by temptation is one thing, but to enter into it quite another. We cannot avoid the assault, but we are not obliged to give way to it. We cannot prevent temptation coming to us, but it is our own fault if we “enter into temptation.” To be tempted is a painful thing, and a heavy trial; but to “enter into temptation” is a sin. It is vain to expect that we shall not be tempted, so long as there is a devil, and so long as we are in the body. But it must be our prayer and endeavor not to “enter into” the temptation. This is what our Lord sets before His disciples. (cf "‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." - Mt 6:13+)

Alexander Maclaren distinguished between being tempted and being tried or tested. He said that temptation "conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong. The latter (trial) means an appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand. Temptation says, 'Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.' Trial or proving says, 'Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful.'

In sum, peirasmos refers to all the trials, testing, temptations that go into furnishing a test of one's character. It follows that Jesus took Peter, James and John not so much for His benefit but for their benefit. 

As J C Ryle said "Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees." Peter, James and John should have recalled Jesus words from two days earlier "that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.” (Mt 26:2).

MacArthur makes an interesting comment on temptation of the disciples versus His temptation - The temptation the Lord faced, however, was different from that of believers. Christians are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), incarcerated in unredeemed flesh (Ro 7:18-25) and easily seduced by the remnants of their fallenness. Satan tempts them to hold on to sin and not mature. They fight against their attraction to sin, and to abandon it and embrace righteousness, holiness, and purity.But Satan’s temptation of Christ was just the opposite. He was perfectly pure and righteous, and His absolute holiness motivated His every thought, word, and deed. While believers struggle to abandon sin and embrace holiness, Jesus struggled to set aside His holiness and embrace sin-bearing. He was not fighting against sinful impulses to become holy, but against holy impulses to allow Himself to be made sin for believers (2 Cor 5:21). Satan tempts Christians to cling to sin; he tempted Jesus to cling to holiness. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Luke)

Mattoon - Jesus knew the traumatic circumstances and choices they were going to have to make in the near future and urged them to prepare themselves by praying. Let me say here that the Lord knows your future, too. His challenge is for us to also pray. If we can keep a close relationship with the Lord, it will help us to face whatever life throws at us. Job 23:10—But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. When we are not close to Christ, when we become discouraged, distracted, or disillusioned with the Lord, the Bible, church, or other Christians, then we begin to struggle with doubt. In fact, the Bible gives to us several reasons why we begin to doubt. (Treasures from Luke: Volume Six)

Related Resource:

Life Application Commentary - PRAY FOR STRENGTH

Is there someone in your life who has demonstrated his or her love for you over and over again, to the point where you know beyond doubt that this person is for you and has your best interests at heart? If so, be very thankful, and ask yourself: would you intentionally do something to hurt that person, cause him or her grief, or bring shame or disgrace on him or her? You would never want to treat such a person that way. That's why Jesus told the disciples that the way to overcome temptation was through prayer. Communing with God is the most powerful motivation believers have to keep his will and honor his name. Are you experiencing intense temptation, perhaps sexually, financially, legally, or ethically? When that temptation shows its seductive face, look past it and into the eyes of the one who loves you enough to die for you—and do what honors him the most.

ILLUSTRATION - So the options are: prayer or temptation.

Cyprian said, “If He prayed who was without sin, how much more it becometh a sinner to pray.”

Years ago in Central Africa, the gospel reached a number of tribes and there were many new believers. Just as a newborn baby cries, so these babes in Christ began to cry out to the Lord in prayer. Since they had no church building, they cleared a central spot in the jungle where they could gather for prayer. Soon there were trails from many different huts that converged on that spot. Whenever a convert seemed to be losing his first love and enthusiasm, other believers would admonish him saying, “Brother, the grass is growing on your path.”

Is the grass growing on your path to God? If it is, you will fall into temptation. Prayer or temptation—those are the options. “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Steven Cole)

TO NOT BE OVERCOME BY TEMPTATION - Scripture explains what to do to not be overcome by temptation.

  • Genesis 3 Satan wants to see all believers stumble and will actively work to make it happen.
  • Genesis 39 When you are tempted, focus on your relationship with God and obey him.
  • 2 Samuel 11:2-4 Temptation will come at weak spots and unexpected times.
  • Psalm 51:4 Temptation can lead to sin and its consequences.
  • Proverbs 7:1-5 Avoid temptation by storing up God's commands in your heart.
  • Matthew 4:1-11 Combat temptation by using the Word of God.
  • Matthew 6:13 God doesn't lead us into temptation, but sometimes he allows believers to be tested by it.
  • Matthew 8:7-9 Being tempted is not a sin, but you must not let temptation lead you into sin.
  • Matthew 26:40 Watch and pray to avoid falling into sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 God will not allow temptations you cannot handle.
  • 1 Timothy 6:11-12 To avoid temptation, you must fight as in a battle.
  • 2 Timothy 2:22 At times you may need to turn and run from temptation.
  • Hebrews 2:16-18 Because Jesus Christ was tempted, he understands how you feel and knows how to help you resist.
  • James 1:12-16 You sometimes cause your own temptations.
  • James 4:7-8 Submit to God; resist the devil.

Luke 22:41   And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,

KJV Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

  • He knelt down and began to pray Mt 26:39; Mark 14:35
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Christ in Gethsemane
Heinrich Hofmann, 1886

Parallel Passages:

Matthew 26:39   And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Mark 14:35+  And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.

As an aside it is interesting that the Gospel of John does not record Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane a fact recorded in all three synoptic Gospels (cf. Mt. 26:30, 36-46; Mk 14:26, 32-42; Lk 22:39-46)

And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw - Why this detail? If one is only a stone's throw away they (as were Peter, James and John), they would have been able to witness the agonizing prayers of Jesus, His body falling prostrate and convulsing with heart wrenching cries. What is even more amazing is that in spite of being able to witness the incomparable Son of God crying out to His Father, these three fell asleep! 

Luke's account leaves out some details found in other synoptic accounts. Specifically Matthew and Mark indicate that after Jesus withdrew from them, He returned three times and found them asleep every time!

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping (FIRST RETURN), and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (See Commentary) 42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping (SECOND RETURN), for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them (THIRD RETURN) “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” (Mt 26:39-46 - MacArthur Sermon 1, MacArthur Sermon 2, cf Mk 14:35-42+)

He knelt down - Apparently Jesus went from kneeling and then falling down prone on the ground. Matthew 26:39 tells us that He "fell on His face," and Mark 14:35 is similar saying that He "fell to the ground" reminding us of the words of the Psalmist "My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word." (Ps 119:25).

Mattoon - The common position for praying in that time was standing. The gravity in Gethsemane drove the Lord to His knees and eventually to His face on the ground. (Mt 26:39, Mk 14:35) (Ibid)

Geldenhuys - The usual manner of prayer at that time was to pray in a standing position. That Jesus knelt down proves the violence of His struggle in Gethsemane.

[Began] to pray (imperfect tense - over and over, again and again) which is the same verb proseuchomai used in Lk 22:40, 41, 44, 46, the verb used for prayer to God. And when Jesus began to pray this was not just a soft whisper as for the writer of Hebrews tells us that...

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:7-9+)

Praying (imperfect tense - again and again)(4336)(proseuchomai) is used only of prayer to God. (Lk 22:40, 41, 44, 46). The imperfect tense suggest that the Scripture records only a portion of what Jesus actually prayed to His Father. Will we find out in Heaven? I can't say. This may some of the "secret things"  category (Dt 29:29a+) and we will never know.

Some have suggested Jesus agony in the Garden was part of His atoning work (I do not). MacDonald does "not believe that Christ's sufferings in the garden were part of His atoning work. The work of redemption was accomplished during the three hours of darkness on the cross. But Gethsemane was in anticipation of Calvary. There the very thought of contact with our sins caused the Lord Jesus the keenest suffering." (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

J C Ryle - this passage, an example of what believers ought to do in time of trouble. The great Head of the Church Himself supplies the pattern. We are told that when He came to the Mount of Olives, the night before He was crucified, “He kneeled down and prayed.”
It is a striking fact, that both the Old and New Testaments give one and the same receipt for bearing trouble. What says the book of Psalms? “Call upon me in the time of trouble: I will deliver thee.” (Psalm 50:15.) What says the apostle James? “Is any afflicted? let him pray.” (James 5:13.) Prayer is the receipt which Jacob used, when he feared his brother Esau.—Prayer is the receipt which Job used when property and children were suddenly taken from him. Prayer is the receipt which Hezekiah used when Sennacherib’s threatening letter arrived. And prayer is the receipt which the Son of God Himself was not ashamed to use in the days of His flesh. In the hour of His mysterious agony He “prayed.”
Let us take care that we use our Master’s remedy, if we want comfort in affliction. Whatever other means of relief we use, let us pray. The first Friend we should turn to ought to be God. The first message we should send ought to be to the throne of grace. No depression of spirits must prevent us. No crushing weight of sorrow must make us dumb. It is a prime device of Satan, to supply the afflicted man with false reasons for keeping silence before God. Let us beware of the temptation to brood sullenly over our wounds. If we can say nothing else, we can say, “I am oppressed: undertake for me.” (Isa 38:14.)

Rod Mattoon - Beloved, we need to spend time in our Gethsemane. I am talking about those times when we get with the Lord and pour out our heart to Him. Unfortunately, many Christians are spiritually asleep and they are unprepared for testing and temptation in the world. Praying helps us to be alert to what is happening around us and prepared for trials, temptations, and opportunities to be a blessing to others. Jesus told the disciples to "rise" or "wake up." In fact, it is the word for "resurrection." Many Christians need a resurrection of service, dedication, and commitment to Christ. (Mattoon's Treasures)

Luke 22:42   saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done."

KJV Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

  • Father Mt 26:42,44; Mark 14:36; John 12:27,28
  • if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Luke 22:17-20; Isaiah 51:17,22; Jeremiah 25:15; Mt 20:22; John 18:11
  • yet not My will, but Yours be done  Ps 40:8; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; Hebrews 10:7-10
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Parallel Passage:

Mark 14:36+ And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

Father (3962)(pater) - Mark 14:36+ has "Abba! Father!" where Abba conveys a warm, intimate sense just as with our expression "Dear father." Both "Father" and "Abba" were terms no Jew would ever dare use in addressing God.  Abba emphasizes the warm, intimate and very personal relationship which exists between the Son and His Father. And because of the blood of Christ shed for us, we are now in Christ and "have received a spirit of adoption as sons" we can "cry out, "Abba! Father!" (Ro 8:15+, cf Gal 4:6). Amazing grace indeed!

If You are willing - Mark adds "Abba! Father." Luke records only one prayer to the Father, but Matthew indicates there were 3 prayers

Matthew 26:42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Matthew 26:44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.

Remove this cup from Me - Matthew 26:39 has "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me." Mark 14:35 has Jesus praying "if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by." Why would He make this request when He knew He had been born to die? 

The word "cup" was frequently used in the OT to picture God's wrath and judgment against sin...

Ps 75:8 For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs. 

Isaiah 51:17 Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’S hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs. 

Isaiah 51:22 Thus says your Lord, the LORD, even your God Who contends for His people, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My anger; You will never drink it again. 

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16“They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”  17 Then I took the cup from the LORD’S hand and made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink it:

Habakkuk 2:16+  “You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the LORD’S right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory. 

Spurgeon says "I am never afraid of exaggeration, when I speak of what my Lord endured. All hell was distilled into that cup, of which our God and Savior Jesus Christ was made to drink.” (Luke 22 Exposition)

J C Ryle on cup - Doddridge says, of this expression, “It was customary among the ancients to assign to each guest at a feast a particular cup, as well as a dish, and by the kind and quantity of the liquor contained in it, the respect of the entertained was expressed. Hence the word ‘cup’ came in general to signify a portion assigned, whether of pleasure or sorrow.”

Hendriksen - Though it will never be possible for our minds to penetrate into the mystery of the horror Jesus experienced in Gethsemane, we cannot be far amiss if we state that it probably included at least this, that he was given a preview of the agonies of the fast approaching crucifixion. He had a foretaste of what it meant to be "forsaken" by his heavenly Father. And is it not reasonable to assume that during these dreadful periods of anguish Satan and his demons assaulted him, with the intention of causing him to turn aside from the path of obedience to God? Cf. Ps. 22:12, 13. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

R Kent Hughes on the agony of the cup - We must also realize that his request for another way came from the two things he saw in the cup. First, it was a cup full of sin. He saw all the brutality of a thousand "Killing Fields"—all the whoring of earthly civilizations—blasphemy—profanity—a cup brimming with jealousy, hatred, and covetousness—which he must drink! And Jesus recoiled! Second, he saw that it was a cup full of wrath. As sin-bearer, he became the object of the Father's holy wrath against sin. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). The drinking also made him a curse. Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'" Gazing into the cup, Jesus saw Hell opened for him, and he staggered (cf. Isaiah 51:17, 22). It is no wonder that we see the blood-like sweat and the tears, that we hear him crying out for deliverance. It is no wonder, as we read in Luke, that the Father sent an angel to strengthen him (Luke 22:43). (Preaching the Word – Mark, Volume II: Jesus, Servant and Savior)

Jesus also knew that in drinking the cup He would be made sin for us and would separated from His Father causing Him to cry out on the cross "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me" (Mt 27:46). (Why did Jesus say, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?")

Some have suggested that Jesus' prayer to remove this cup was a sign of weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth! It was not a sign of His weakness but a sign of His holiness reacting to the thought of becoming the Bearer of man's sin and God's righteous wrath and judgment against that sin. Dear follower of Christ, think of the most heinous sin you have ever committed and ponder the truth that it was laid in all its ugliness on the One Who was the spotless, blemish free Lamb of God. And then multiple that by the thousands of sins you have committed in your short life. You can begin to get just a slight inkling of why the Holy One would recoil from such revolting rebellion! And that is just your sin. Now add mine and millions of others and we begin to get the picture. Romans 5:8 says "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for (huper = in our place) us." As you ponder God's incomprehensible, infinite, eternal love, you might be stimulated to offer up a sacrifice of praise by singing the classic Charles Wesley hymn...

And Can it Be That I Should Gain?

And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis myst’ry all: th’ Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above—
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

David Guzik - A sinless man battled Satan, sin, self, and temptation in a garden and lost – saying, “My will not Yours, be done” and the loss impacted all mankind. The second Sinless Man battled Satan, sin, self, and temptation in another garden and won – saying, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” – and its impact touches people from every tribe and tongue.

Constable - The submissiveness of Jesus' prayer is a model for all disciples. When we do not know God's will specifically, we can voice our request, but we should always submit our preferences to God's will. Luke pictured Jesus as a real man, not a demigod.

Yet not My will, but Yours be done - This was the desire of Jesus' heart  - complete and unqualified submission to the will of His Father in Heaven. 

The book of Hebrews quotes David in Ps 40:9 and applies this passage to Jesus

“THEN I (JESUS) SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”  8 After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first (COVENANT) in order to establish the second (NEW COVENANT). (Heb 10:7-9+,

John repeatedly records Jesus' determination to do the will of His Father...

(Jn 4:34) Jesus *said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

(Jn 5:30) “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me

(6:38) “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Later in John Jesus in allusion to the Cross declared 

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit..... 27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.....32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (Jn 12:24, 27, 32)

Later in John's Gospel (after the agonizing prayer in Gethsemane) after Peter had cut off an ear (Jn 18:10), Jesus reiterated His full submission to the Father's will 

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (Jn 18:11)

And so Jesus drank of the cup of man's sin and God's wrath, Paul writing...

He (THE FATHER) made Him (JESUS) Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(2 Cor 5:21+)

J C Ryle - The language used by our blessed Master in this place shows exactly what should be the spirit of a believer’s prayer in his distress. Like Jesus, he should tell his desires openly to his heavenly Father, and spread His wishes unreservedly before Him. But like Jesus, he should do it all with an entire submission of will to the will of God. He should never forget that there may be wise and good reasons for His affliction. He should carefully qualify every petition for the removal of crosses with the saving clause, “If thou be willing.” He should wind up all with the meek confession, “Not my will, but thine be done.” Submission of will like this is one of the brightest graces which can adorn the Christian character. It is one which a child of God ought to aim at in everything, if he desires to be like Christ. But at no time is such submission of will so needful as in the day of sorrow, and in nothing does it shine so brigthly as in a believer’s prayers for relief. He who can say from his heart, when a bitter cup is before him, “Not my will, but thine be done,” has reached a high position in the school of God.

Marshall comments "The effect of the saying (yet not My will, but Yours be done) is that Jesus, facing the temptation to avoid the path of suffering appointed by God, nevertheless accepts the will of God despite His own desire that it might be otherwise. He does not seek to disobey the will of God, but longs that God's will might be different. But even this is to be regarded as temptation, and it is overcome by Jesus."

J C Ryle has more detail on the not my will but Thine -   In this expression, and indeed throughout the verse, the great and mysterious truth that our Lord had two wills, a human and a divine will, is distinctly taught. In His Person the human nature and the divine were marvellously united. To use the words of the Article, “Two whole and perfect natures, the godhead and manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided.” But still we must carefully remember that while the two natures were united, the two wills were not confounded. Our Lord had a will as perfect man, and He had also a will as perfect God. As God He had a will in entire harmony with the will of the Father, a will to suffer, to die, to bear our sins, and to provide redemption on the cross. But as man He had a will which naturally shrank from death and pain, as everything which has the breath of life instinctively does. This is the will which we hear speaking in the verse before us. “Man,” says Theophylact, “naturally loves life.” Our Lord was a man exactly like ourselves in all things, sin only excepted. His bodily constitution, His nervous system, His capability of suffering, were all precisely like our own. Therefore it is that He says, “Remove this cup from me,” and yet adds, “not my will, but thine, be done.”

  The subject is undoubtedly a very mysterious one. The mystery, be it remembered, arises necessarily from our utter inability to understand the union of two natures in one Person. It is a depth which we have no line to fathom. How the Lord Jesus could be at the same time God and man, as man weak but as God almighty,—for what reasons we see Him sometimes in the Gospels speaking as God, and sometimes as man—why we see Him sometimes veiling His divinity, and sometimes exhibiting it most clearly,—all these are questions which it is more easy to ask than to answer. Enough for us to know that it is so, and to believe and admire what we cannot explain.

  One thing, however, we may safely remark, that at no period of our Lord’s earthly ministry does the reality of His manhood come out so clearly as in His agony in the garden, and His death on the cross. As man, He endured temptation for us, and overcame Satan. As man, He showed the intensity of His sufferings by bloody sweat, strong crying and tears. As man He thirsted on the cross, and said, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The infinite merit of His passion unquestionably arose from the inseparable union of His godhead and His manhood. But the nature which is most prominently brought before us in His passion, is His nature as man.

QUESTION - Why did Jesus say, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42)?

ANSWER - The life of Jesus Christ exemplified obedience. He came to earth to fulfill His heavenly Father’s will no matter how painful the task set before Him. Nonetheless, Jesus spoke honestly with God when faced with His crucifixion: “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me” (Luke 22:42, NLT). In His human state, Jesus did not want to endure a torturous death. Yet in the same breath, He prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

This scene in Gethsemane records one of the most desperate hours of anguish in the life of Christ (Matthew 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42; Luke 22:40–46). He told His disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death” (Mark 14:34). Worse than the thought of death, Jesus, in His humanity, must have dreaded the thought of bearing the sins of the world (1 Peter 2:24). In the garden, the Lord fell to the ground flat on His face and offered God this desperate cry of His soul: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

Christ’s words and actions here serve as a great comfort to us, His followers. God wants His children to pour out their hearts to Him in sincerity (Psalm 62:8). He is our refuge, our safe haven. Like Jesus, we can reveal the deepest longings in our hearts to our loving heavenly Father. He knows what we are feeling, and we can trust Him to carry the burdens of our souls.

Facing the cross, Jesus was able to pray, “Not my will, but yours be done” because He was wholly submitted to His Father’s will. “My food,” He had said, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34). “By myself I can do nothing,” explained Jesus, “for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:30).

Obedience to God’s will was central to Christ’s mission. He told His disciples, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). Hundreds of years before, Scripture foretold Christ’s destiny to come to earth and do God’s will (Hebrews 10:5–7; cf. Psalm 40:6–8).

For Christ’s followers, “Not my will, but yours be done” is the definitive prayer that never fails. According to 1 John 5:14–15, we can pray with confidence “if we ask according to his will.” Praying God’s will guarantees that He hears us and will grant what we ask. In fact, one of the primary purposes of prayer is to allow the will of God to be accomplished and to bring glory and honor to His name on earth. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9–10). Those who pray this way, desiring God’s will above all else, reveal that they are indeed Christ’s disciples (Matthew 7:21; see also Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35; Luke 8:21; John 15:10; Ephesians 6:6).

The apostle Paul encouraged Christians to seek the Holy Spirit’s help to pray in agreement with God’s will: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:26–27, NLT). Paul also urged believers to “learn to know God’s will” for their lives because God’s will “is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2NLT).

When Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours be done,” He surrendered His own will to God’s, fully convinced that His Father knew what was best. When we pray this way, we yield ourselves to God’s wisdom, trusting Him to work out what’s best for our lives, too (Romans 8:28).

QUESTION -  Why did Jesus ask God to “let this cup pass from me”?

ANSWER - The gospels contain an account of the time the disciples and Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Jesus was arrested. In the garden Jesus prayed to his Father three times, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”—the KJV says, “Let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). A little later, Jesus prays, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:42). These prayers reveal Jesus’ mindset just before the crucifixion and His total submission to the will of God.

The “cup” to which Jesus refers is the suffering He was about to endure. It’s as if Jesus were being handed a cup full of bitterness with the expectation that He drink all of it. Jesus had used the same metaphor in Matthew 20:22 when prophesying of the future suffering of James and John. When Jesus petitions the Father, “Let this cup pass from me,” He expresses the natural human desire to avoid pain and suffering.

Jesus is fully God, but He is also fully human. His human nature, though perfect, still struggled with the need to accept the torture and shame that awaited Him; His flesh recoiled from the cross. In the same context, Jesus says to His disciples, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mathew 26:41). In praying, “Let this cup pass from me,” Jesus was battling the flesh and its desire for self-preservation and comfort. The struggle was intense: Jesus was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38), and Luke the physician observed that Jesus was sweating blood—a sign of extreme anguish (Luke 22:44). If anything shows that Jesus was indeed fully man, this prayer is it.

Jesus knew of what was to come (see Mark 8:31). The agony He faced was going to be more than physical; it would be spiritual and emotional, as well. Jesus knew that God’s will was to crush Him, to allow Him to be “pierced for our transgressions” and wounded for our healing (Isaiah 53:5–10). Jesus loves mankind, but His humanity dreaded the pain and sorrow He faced, and it drove Him to ask His Father, “Let this cup pass from me.”

Jesus’ prayer to “let this cup pass from me” contains two important qualifications. First, He prays, “If it is possible.” If there was any other way to redeem mankind, Jesus asks to take that other way. The events following His prayer show that there was no other way; Jesus Christ is the only possible sacrifice to redeem the world (John 1:29; Acts 4:12; Hebrews 10:14; Revelation 5:9). Second, Jesus prays, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus was committed to the will of God, body, mind, and soul. The prayer of the righteous is always dependent on the will of God (see Matthew 6:10).

In Gethsemane, Jesus conquered the flesh and kept it in subjection to the spirit. He did this through earnest prayer and intense, willful submission to God’s plan. It is good to know that, when we face trials, Jesus knows what it’s like to want God’s will and yet not to want it; to act out of love yet dread the hurt that often results; to desire righteousness and obedience, even when the flesh is screaming out against it. This conflict is not sinful; it is human. Our Savior was “fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God” (Hebrews 2:17). He had come “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), and He accomplished His mission, even though it meant drinking the cup of suffering to the bitter

Learning To Cooperate

Read: Luke 22:39-53

Not My will, but Yours be done. —Luke 22:42

The following story was told by A.W. Tozer: “A simplehearted man was asked how he managed to live in such a state of tranquility even though he was surrounded by adverse circumstances. His reply was profound, yet simple: ‘I have learned to cooperate with the inevitable!’ “

Very few of us practice this wise and practical approach to life. Tozer commented that many of us fight against and complain about our circumstances throughout life, “all the while believing that we are surrendered to the will of God.”

In today’s Bible reading, we see Peter as he watched the betrayal of his beloved Master. Acting impulsively, he sliced off the ear of the servant of the high priest (Lk. 22:50; Jn. 18:10-11). But Jesus rebuked Peter’s attempt to protect Him, saying, “Permit even this” (v.51). Then He replaced the ear with a healing touch.

In the lives of us all, there will be problems that refuse to go away. But what God permits, He also uses—redemptively. The question is, will we permit what God permits? We too often pray, “Lord, get me out of this mess.” But the Lord may be saying, “Let Me into this mess. Permit Me to change you rather than your circumstances.” That’s the greatest miracle of all. By Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

May we learn the blessed secret
Of delighting in Your will,
Welcoming whate'er You send us,
Joy or sorrow, good or ill.—Anon.

Peace is found only in yielding to the will of God.

Luke 22:43   Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.

KJV Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

  • Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him Luke 4:10,11; Ps 91:11,12; Mt 4:6,11; 26:53; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:6,14
  • strengthening Luke 22:32; Dt 3:28; Job 4:3,4; Da 10:16-19; 11:1; Acts 18:23; Heb 2:17
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him - There are only two records of angelic appearances to Jesus, one at the beginning and the second at the end of His ministry. The first angelic appearance in Matthew 4:11 (cf Lk 4:1-11+) records "angels came and began to minister to Him" after His temptation in the wilderness. The second angelic appearance is here at His last temptation in the garden. The "First Adam" was tempted in the Garden of Eden and succumbed, allowing sin to enter the world (Ro 5:12+). The Last Adam (1 Cor 15:45) resisted temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane allowing Him to defeat sin that had entered the world, bring life and salvation to all who will believe (cf 1 Pe 2:24+).

David Guzik writes that "In response to Jesus’ prayers, the Father did not take the cup from Jesus; but He strengthened Jesus by angelic messengers to be able to take – and drink – the cup."

John Trapp said that Jesus received this, “To show that he had been made himself lower than the angels, Hebrews 2:7, he received comfort from an angel that was his servant.”

Strengthening Him - Once again we see the emphasis on Jesus' humanity. The omnipotent God Who had flung the stars into the heavens was in need of strengthening as the humble Man. The writer of Hebrews applies this truth explaining that Jesus understands our needs when we are being tempted...

Hebrews 2:18+ For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid (to come running on hearing our cry for help - are you too proud to cry out?) of those who are (continually being) tempted.

Hebrews 4:15-16+ For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore (term of conclusion) let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Strengthening (1765)(enischuo from en = in + ischuo = to strengthen) used only here and Acts 9:19 ("he took food and was strengthened") and means to be strong in anything, to be invigorated, become strong. Its basic meaning is “to grow strong, to regain one’s strength” as when Jacob, who was sick, strengthened himself to meet Joseph and his two sons who came to visit him (Genesis 48:2). Cleon Rogers says "The strengthening role of the angel is like that of a trainer who readies the athlete." 

Gilbrant - The verb enischuō may be used both transitively and intransitively. Transitively it means “to give strength, strengthen” as in Luke 22:43 where an angel came to Jesus, strengthening Him. Intransitively the word means “to receive strength, to be strengthened, to grow strong.”

Enischuo - 64x in 62v in the Septuagint - Gen. 12:10; Gen. 32:28; Gen. 33:14; Gen. 43:1; Gen. 47:4; Gen. 47:13; Gen. 48:2; Deut. 32:43; Jdg. 1:28; Jdg. 3:12; Jdg. 5:10; Jdg. 5:12; Jdg. 5:14; Jdg. 9:24; Jdg. 16:28; Jdg. 20:22; 2 Sam. 16:21; 2 Sam. 22:40; 2 Ki. 12:8; 2 Ki. 25:3; 1 Chr. 4:23; 1 Chr. 15:21; 1 Chr. 19:13; 2 Chr. 1:1; 2 Chr. 24:13; Ezr. 1:6; Ezr. 9:12; Neh. 10:29; Ps. 147:13; Isa. 33:23; Isa. 41:10; Isa. 42:6; Isa. 57:10; Jer. 6:1; Jer. 9:3; Ezek. 27:9; Ezek. 30:25; Ezek. 34:4; Ezek. 34:16; Dan. 6:7; Dan. 10:18; Dan. 10:19; Dan. 11:1; Dan. 11:5; Hos. 10:11; Hos. 12:3; Hos. 12:4; Joel 3:16; 

2 Samuel 22:40 "For You have girded (Hebrew = azar = gird, encompass, equip; Lxx - enischuo) me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me

Psalm 147:13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your sons within you. (Psa 147:13 NAU)

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

While NT believers are unlikely to see a visible angel, the Scripture is clear that they are still actively involved in our salvation, the writer of Hebrews recording a rhetorical question (about angels)...

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14+)

Comment: The writer of Hebrews later says that some have "entertained angels without knowing it," a truth which he says should motivate us to "not neglect to show hospitality to strangers." (Heb 13:2+). 

Wiersbe comments - George Morrison said, "Every life has its Gethsemane, and every Gethsemane has its angel." What an encouragement to God's people when they wrestle and pray about difficult and costly decisions!

I would add when we enter our Gethsemane we have the "Comforter," the Holy Spirit in us to give us comfort.

Technical Note on the Text - The NET Note summarizes the textual question in Luke 22:43-44 - Several important Greek MSS (?75 א1 A B N T W 579 1071*) along with diverse and widespread versional witnesses lack 22:43–44. In addition, the verses are placed after Matt 26:39 by f13. Floating texts typically suggest both spuriousness and early scribal impulses to regard the verses as historically authentic. These verses are included in א*,2 D L Θ Ψ 0171 f1 ? lat Ju Ir Hipp Eus. However, a number of MSS mark the text with an asterisk or obelisk, indicating the scribe’s assessment of the verses as inauthentic. At the same time, these verses generally fit Luke’s style. Arguments can be given on both sides about whether scribes would tend to include or omit such comments about Jesus’ humanity and an angel’s help. But even if the verses are not literarily authentic, they are probably historically authentic. This is due to the fact that this text was well known in several different locales from a very early period. Since there are no synoptic parallels to this account and since there is no obvious reason for adding these words here, it is very likely that such verses recount a part of the actual suffering of our Lord. Nevertheless, because of the serious doubts as to these verses’ authenticity, they have been put in brackets. For an important discussion of this problem, see B. D. Ehrman and M. A. Plunkett, “The Angel and the Agony: The Textual Problem of Luke 22:43–44,” CBQ 45 (1983): 401–16.

J C Ryle alludes to the difficulties with the Text in Luke 22:43-44 -   This circumstance in our Lord’s agony in the garden is only mentioned by St. Luke. It has given rise to many strange comments, and has even stumbled some Christians. It is a curious fact, that in the early ages of Christianity, this verse and the following one were entirely omitted in some copies of St. Luke’s Gospel. It was ignorantly supposed that they were so derogatory to our Lord’s dignity, and so favorable to the Arian heresy, that they were not genuine. The omission was entirely unjustifiable. There is an immense preponderance of evidence to show that the two verses were as much inspired as any other part of the Gospel, and were really written by St. Luke. The omission, moreover, was entirely needless, and the fears which gave rise to it, were fears without cause. The object of the verse appears to be to supply additional proof that our Lord was really and truly man. As man, He was for a little time “lower than the angels.” (Heb. 2:9.) As man, He condescended to receive comfort from angelic ministry. As man, He was willing to receive an expression of sympathy from angels, which the weakness of His disciples prevented them from giving. The reality of weakness is never so shown as when a person becomes the object of sympathy and help. As very God of very God, and Lord of angels and men, Jesus of course needed no angel to strengthen Him. But as very man, in the hour of His greatest weakness, He allowed an angel to minister to Him.  

Luke 22:44   And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

KJV Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

NLT  Luke 22:44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

  • And being in agony  Genesis 32:24-28; Ps 22:1,2,12-21; 40:1-3; 69:14-18; 88:1-18; 130:1,2; Ps 143:6,7; Lamentations 1:12; 3:53-56; Jonah 2:2,3; John 12:27; Hebrews 5:7
  • his Isaiah 53:10+; Lamentations 1:12; Romans 8:32
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


And being in agony- As discussed in the word study, this refers not so much to physical agony but mental agony. Of course, extreme mental agony cannot be separated from its physical effects on one's body. Other versions translate it anguish which is defined as extreme mental distress, extreme distress of body or mind; great suffering, as from worry, grief, or pain; agonizing physical or mental pain; torment. Agony is pain, anguish, or struggle, especially the struggle that precedes death, which is apropos in this context.

Vincent on being in agony - There is in the aorist participle a suggestion of a growing intensity in the struggle, which is not conveyed by the simple being. Literally, though very awkwardly, it is, having become in an agony: having progressed from the first prayer (began to pray, Lk 22:41) into an intense struggle of prayer and sorrow.

Ryle on agony of Jesus - It will doubtless strike every well-informed person, that hundreds of martyrs have been known to suffer the most painful deaths, without any such demonstrations of mental and bodily agony as are here recorded in the case of our Lord. How are we to account for this? How are we to explain the remarkable circumstance that our Lord appears to have felt more distressed than many a martyr has done in the prospect of being burned alive, or even when at the stake....The only satisfactory explanation of Christ’s intense agony is the old doctrine of imputed sin. He had engaged to die for our sins. His death was a vicarious death. As our substitute, He was about to bear our iniquities, to suffer for us, and to pay our debts to God with His own blood. He was about to be counted a sinner, and be punished, that we might be counted righteous, and be delivered from punishment....The words of Isaiah were being fulfilled:—“But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief.” (Isaiah 53:10+)

Puritan Richard Baxter wrote “This agony was not from the fear of death, but from the deep sense of God’s wrath against sin; which He as our sacrificee was to bear; in greater pain than mere dying, which His servants often bear with peace.”

Jurist Matthew Hale says, “Christ stood under the imputation of all our sins; and though He was personally innocent, yet judicially and by way of imputation, He was the greatest offender that ever was. As our Lord was pleased to be our representative in bearing our sins, and to stand in our stead, so all these affections and motions of His soul did bear the same conformity as if acted by us. As He put on the person of the sinner, so He put on the same sorrow, the same shame, the same trembling under the apprehension of the wrath of His Father, that we must have done. And as an imputed sin drew with it the obligation to punishment, so it did by necessary consequences raise all those storms and compassions in the soul of Christ, as it would have done in the person of a sinner, sin only excepted.”

Agony (74)(agonia from agón = contest, but gives prominence to pain of conflict) is used only in Lk 22:44 and means agony, anguish, anxiety, "an apprehensiveness of mind especially when faced with impending ills." (BDAG) Vincent writes "Agony occurs only here. It is used by medical writers, and the fact of a sweat accompanying an agony is also mentioned by them." Agonia describes the trembling excitement and anxiety that are produced by tension and fear before a wrestling match or fight.

Liddell-Scott - (1) a contest, struggle for victory,  2. gymnastic exercise, wrestling: generally, exercise 3. of the mind, agony, anguish

Zodhiates says agonia "is used to refer to the trembling excitement and anxiety produced by fear or tension before a wrestling match or a fight. In the NT, it is used denoting not the fear which draws back and flees, but the fear which trembles in the face of the issue yet continues on to the end (Luke 22:44 [cf. Matt. 26:37, 38; John 12:27]). (Complete Word Study Dictionary)

Praying (imperfect tense - again and again, over and over)(4336)(proseuchomai) is used only of prayer to God

Fervently (1619)(ektenos from ek = out + teíno = to stretch; English = tension, etc) literally pictures one "stretching out"! It pictures "an intense strain" and unceasing activity which normally involving a degree of intensity and/or perseverance. Stretched out and extended to the limit is the idea. Jowett suggests the picture of the tension and energy of a stringed instrument, "as when the string of a violin has been stretched to a tighter pitch that it might yield a little higher note." Cranfield suggests the figure of "the taut muscle of strenuous and sustained effort, as of an athlete." It is not doing something lightly and perfunctorily but straining as it were to do it! 

Ektenos was an athletic term conveying the meaning of “striving with all of one’s energy” and was used to describe a runner who was moving at maximum output with taut muscles straining and stretching to the limit. 

His sweat became like drops of blood - Like blood, but not blood, most likely because it was blood tinged. Hematidrosis is a rare medical condition where one’s sweat will contain blood. The sweat glands are surrounded by tiny blood vessels which apparently can dilate to the point of rupture so that blood mixes the sweat. As an aside it is interesting that the 3 eyewitnesses Peter, James and John do not record this fact in their writings. Luke the physician sees this fact as worthy of mention. Of course, since he was not there, this would have either been conveyed to him by one of the eyewitnesses or supernaturally revealed by the Spirit. 

What the Bible teaches -  "Sweat" (hidrōs) is only here, but is used in the LXX in Gen 3:19+. Adam was told to dress and keep the garden, but not until he had sinned do we read "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread". In the garden the sinless Man is sweating; in contrast to Adam, He was submitting to the will of God, not rebelling against it.

Spurgeon - The old physician Galen gives an instance in which, through extremity of horror, an individual poured forth a discoloured sweat, so nearly crimson as at any rate to appear to have been blood. Other cases are given by medical authorities. (Luke 22 Exposition)

Wikipedia on the cause  - Hematidrosis is a condition in which capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, causing them to exude blood, occurring under conditions of extreme physical or emotional stress.[4] Severe mental anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system to invoke the stress-fight or flight reaction to such a degree as to cause hemorrhage of the vessels supplying the sweat glands into the ducts of the sweat glands.[5] 

What the Bible teaches – Surely this is most holy ground. How can we, whose senses have been numbed by sin, ever enter into the holy anguish of the soul of the Man of sorrows? The physical evidence of His agony is given that we might have some understanding of it. Human eyes were not allowed to look on that sight. The Holy Spirit has recorded it for our learning. We are well aware of the simile word "as", but the AV "drops" (thrombos), is a medical term, which means "thick clots" of coagulated blood. Vine interprets thrombos as "large, thick drops of clotted blood". The appearance of the Saviour as One whose "visage was so marred more than any man" must be understood in the light of this suffering as much as the result of what men did to Him.

Ryle - Theophylact observes, that this bloody sweat is one among many strong evidences that our Lord’s body was a real body, like ours, with flesh, blood, and all other things pertaining to man’s constitution. He observes also, that it supplies an unanswerable argument against the heresy of those who maintained that our Lord’s body was only a seeming, or “phantastic” body, but not a real one. (See related resource - What is Docetism?)

Falling down upon the ground - The drops falling upon the ground were not pure blood as was the case when He hung on the Cross and His lacerations and nail pierced skin gave rise to pure blood. This was more like blood tinged sweat (see pix). Here is a case report of hematohidrosis.

Warren Wiersbe - The first Adam sinned in a Garden and was condemned to living by the sweat of his brow (Gen. 3:19+). Jesus, the Last Adam, obeyed the Father in a Garden and conquered Adam's sin (Ro 5:12-21). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Ralph Earle makes an interesting observation - "Verse 44 is almost unique in having four hapax legomena ("said once," hence words found only once in the NT): agonia, "agony"; ektenesteron, "more earnestly"; hidras, "sweat"; thrombos,"drop." The picture of Jesus' anguish of soul is painted in vivid colors here." (Borrow Word meanings in the New Testament

J C Ryle - We see in these verses, an example of the exceeding guilt and sinfulness of sin. We are meant to learn this in Christ’s agony and bloody sweat, and all the mysterious distress of body and mind which the passage describes. The lesson at first sight may not be clear to a careless reader of the Bible. But the lesson is there. How can we account for the deep agony which our Lord underwent in the garden? What reason can we assign for the intense suffering, both mental and bodily, which he manifestly endured? There is only one satisfactory answer. It was caused by the burden of a world’s imputed sin, which then began to press upon Him in a peculiar manner. He had undertaken to be “sin for us,”—to be “made a curse for us,”—and to allow our iniquities to be laid on Himself. (2 Cor 5:21+; Gal 3:13+; Isa 53:6+) It was the enormous weight of these iniquities which made Him suffer agony. It was the sense of a world’s guilt pressing Him down which made even the eternal Son of God sweat great drops of blood (ED: MORE ACCURATELY "LIKE BLOOD"), and called from Him “strong crying and tears.” (Heb. 5:7+)  The cause of Christ’s agony was man’s sin. We must beware jealously of the modern notion that our blessed Lord’s life and death were nothing more than a great example of self-sacrifice. Such a notion throws darkness and confusion over the whole Gospel. It dishonors the Lord Jesus, and represents Him as less resigned in the day of death than many a modern martyr. We must cling firmly to the old doctrine that Christ was “bearing our sins,” both in the garden and on the cross (ED: HIS AGONY IN THE GARDEN ANTICIPATED THE BEARING, THE BEARING ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE ON THE CROSS, FOR AS PETER SAYS "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross" 1 Pe 2:24+, cf Gal 3:13+). No other doctrine can ever explain the passage before us, or satisfy the conscience of guilty man. Would we see the sinfulness of sin in its true colors? Would we learn to hate sin with a godly hatred? (BY THY COVERING GRACE AND THY CONVICTING SPIRIT, LET IT BE SO LORD GOD IN JESUS' NAME. AMEN) Would we know something of the intense misery of souls in hell? Would we understand something of the unspeakable love of Christ? (Jn 3:16, Ro 5:8+, Titus 3:4+, 1 Jn 4:9-10+) Would we comprehend Christ’s ability to sympathize with those that are in trouble? Then let the agony in the garden come often into our minds. The depth of that agony may give us some idea of our debt to Christ.

Gethsemane can I forget?
Or there thy conflict see,
Thine agony and bloody sweat,
And not remember thee?
J. Montgomery

Herbert Lockyer - Having given thanks for the cup, filled to the brim with our "death and curse" (Lk 22:19, 20), Jesus comes to Gethsemane to an agony of prayer (Lk 22:44). Truly there is no intensity in prayer comparable to our Saviour's strong crying and tears (Hebrews 5:7). We will never understand what is meant by His sweat appearing as great drops of blood. While Luke is not alone in describing Christ's agony, he is alone nevertheless in some of Gethsemane's most touching details. When in the Litany people pray—"By Thine Agony and bloody sweat... Good Lord, deliver us," they use a word found only in Luke. It is to Luke that we owe mention of the drops of blood and the presence of the ministering Angel to strengthen Jesus for a yet more intense and fervent supplication. Christ's agony came as He thought upon, not that He was to die, but that, in dying, He was to be made sin for us. This was why He had to tread the wine-press alone.

   Gethsemane can I forget?
    Or there Thy conflict see,
   Thine agony and bloody sweat—
    And not remember Thee?

The three disciples Jesus took with Him that they might pray with, and for, Him, failed Him (Luke 22:45). Not only had they failed Him, but they needed to learn how to pray with intensity for themselves in preparation for their own hour of anguish (Lk 22:46). (Borrow All the prayers of the Bible : a devotional and expositional classic)

C H Spurgeon - Morning, March 23   

         “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”         —Luke 22:44

The mental pressure arising from our Lord’s struggle with temptation, so forced his frame to an unnatural excitement, that his pores sent forth great drops of blood which fell down to the ground. This proves how tremendous must have been the weight of sin when it was able to crush the Saviour so that he distilled great drops of blood! This demonstrates the mighty power of his love. It is a very pretty observation of old Isaac Ambrose that the gum which exudes from the tree without cutting is always the best. This precious camphire-tree yielded most sweet spices when it was wounded under the knotty whips, and when it was pierced by the nails on the cross; but see, it giveth forth its best spice when there is no whip, no nail, no wound. This sets forth the voluntariness of Christ’s sufferings, since without a lance the blood flowed freely. No need to put on the leech, or apply the knife; it flows spontaneously. No need for the rulers to cry, “Spring up, O well;” of itself it flows in crimson torrents. If men suffer great pain of mind apparently the blood rushes to the heart. The cheeks are pale; a fainting fit comes on; the blood has gone inward as if to nourish the inner man while passing through its trial. But see our Saviour in his agony; he is so utterly oblivious of self, that instead of his agony driving his blood to the heart to nourish himself, it drives it outward to bedew the earth. The agony of Christ, inasmuch as it pours him out upon the ground, pictures the fulness of the offering which he made for men.

Do we not perceive how intense must have been the wrestling through which he passed, and will we not hear its voice to us? “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Behold the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, and sweat even to blood rather than yield to the great tempter of your souls.

QUESTION -  Why did Jesus sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane?

ANSWER - The night before Jesus Christ was crucified, He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke, a physician, recorded that Jesus’ sweat was like drops of blood: “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Some consider Luke’s description as mere simile—Jesus’ sweat fell to the ground in large, heavy drops, the way that blood drips from an open wound. However, there exists a medical condition that produces the symptoms described and explains Luke’s mention of blood.

Hematidrosis is a rare, but very real, medical condition that causes one’s sweat to contain blood. The sweat glands are surrounded by tiny blood vessels that can constrict and then dilate to the point of rupture, causing blood to effuse into the sweat glands. The cause of hematidrosis is extreme anguish. In the other gospel accounts, we see the level of Jesus’ anguish: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38; cf. Mark 14:34).

The intense anguish and sorrow Jesus felt was certainly understandable. Being God, Christ knew “all that was going to happen to Him” (John 18:4). He knew in painstaking detail the events that were to follow soon after He was betrayed by one of His very own disciples. He knew He was about to undergo several trials where all of the witnesses against Him would lie. He knew that many who had hailed Him as the Messiah only days earlier would now be screaming for His crucifixion (Luke 23:23). He knew He would be flogged nearly to the point of death before they pounded the metal spikes into His flesh. He knew the prophetic words of Isaiah spoken seven centuries earlier that He would be beaten so badly that He would be “disfigured beyond that of any man” and “beyond human likeness” (Isaiah 52:14). Certainly, these things factored into His great anguish and sorrow, causing Him to sweat drops of blood. Yet there was more.

Crucifixion was considered to be the most painful and torturous method of execution ever devised and was used on the most despised and wicked people. In fact, so horrific was the pain that a word was designed to help explain it—excruciating, which literally means “from the cross.” From His arrest in the garden until the time our Lord stated, “It is finished” (John 19:30), Scripture records only one instance where Jesus “cried out in a loud voice” (Matthew 27:46). As our sinless Savior bore the weight of the world’s sins on His shoulders, His Father must have looked away, as His “eyes are too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk1:13), causing the suffering Servant to cry out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). The spiritual pain of this feeling of abandonment no doubt greatly exceeded the intense physical pain the Lord endured on our behalf.

At the beginning of creation, human history began in a garden (Genesis 2:8), and when the first Adam sinned against God in this garden, death entered the world (Genesis 3:6). Thousands of years later, Jesus Christ, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), entered into another garden to accept the cup from His Father’s hand (Matthew 26:42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42), and death was about to be swallowed up in victory. Although God’s plan was designed before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4–5), we must never forget that its execution came at a great cost. Ultimately, then, we are the ones responsible for the blood that dripped from our Savior as He prayed in the garden. And we are the reason Jesus’ soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Indeed, these bloodied sweat drops came at a great cost; let us never forget that.

Luke 22:45   When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow,

KJV Luke 22:45  And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

  • found them sleeping from sorrow, Mt 26:40,43; Mark 14:37,40,41
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Andrea Mantegna's Agony in the Garden,


When He rose from prayer - As discussed above Matthew and Mark record Jesus arising from prayer three times (see previous note). 

Prayer (4335)(proseuche from pros = toward or immediately before + euchomai = to pray or vow) is the more general word for prayer and is used only of prayer to God. The prefix pros would convey the sense of being immediately before Him and hence the ideas of adoration, devotion, and worship. The basic idea is to bring something, and in prayer this pertains to bringing up prayer requests.

He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow (Only found in Luke's Gospel) - As noted above it must have been around midnight so the disciples would have been sleepy but that is not why they were sleeping. Luke says they were sleeping because they were downcast at Jesus' repeated predictions that He would soon die. Imagine your best friend, you spouse, etc telling you that they were going to die in the next few hours even though at that moment they perfectly healthy physically! The disciples were in deep despair and were depressed. As an aside, one of the clinical signs of depression is excessive sleeping. And not only that Jesus had predicted they would desert Him and they knew His "batting average" for predictions was 100%!

MacArthur may be correct when he writes that "Fatalism crept in, and there seemed to be nothing left to pray for." (Fatalism = a submissive mental attitude resulting from acceptance of the doctrine that everything that happens is predetermined and inevitable)

The New English Bible has "worn out by grief" which gives us an accurate picture of the mental/emotional state of the disciples.

Sorrow (grief) (3077)(lupe) means sadness, grief, pain, sorrow. Lupe is used in Septuagint of Ge 3:16 (twice) of literal pain in childbirth, but most NT uses are figurative of pain in one's heart ("heartache"). Lupe is a word that describes that which is grievous or produces an emotional "heaviness". Lupe was a word used of persons mourning. In secular Greek lupe was sometimes used to describe pain experienced by the physical body, but more often was used figuratively for mental and/or emotional anguish. 

J C Ryle - We see, lastly, in these verses, an example of the feebleness of the best of saints. We are told that while our Lord was in agony, His disciples fell asleep. In spite of a plain injunction to pray, and a plain warning against temptation the flesh overcame the spirit. While Christ was sweating great drops of blood, His apostles slept! Passages like these are very instructive. We ought to thank God that they have been written for our learning. They are meant to teach us humility. When apostles can behave in this way, the Christian who thinks he stands should take heed lest he fall. They are meant to reconcile believers to death, and make them long for that glorious body which they will have when Christ returns. Then, and not till then, shall we be able to wait upon God without bodily weariness, and to serve Him day and night in His temple.

Luke 22:46   and said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

KJV Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

  • Why are you sleeping?  Luke 22:40; 21:34-36; Pr 6:4-11; Jonah 1:6
  • Luke 22 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


"Why are you sleeping? - This is an interesting question because Luke just explained they were sleeping from sorrow. Of course in His omniscience, Jesus know why they were sleeping. This question was like a wake up reminder of their prayerlessness.

Constable comments "Jesus' question had the force of "How can you sleep at a time like this?" They needed to pray so they would not enter into temptation much less fall before it. Spiritual preparation before testing has more effect than just calling for rescue when we are in it (cf. Matt. 6:13; Luke 11:4). Jesus showed concern for the welfare of His disciples even when His own needs were the greatest. Luke omitted the three trips Jesus made to the sleeping disciples that Matthew and Mark recorded (Matt. 26:42-45; Mark 14:39-41). The effect is more emphasis on Jesus' praying and less on the disciples' failing. (Luke 22 Commentary)

The same three who slept in Gethsemane, were the three who slept at the transfiguration.

Sleeping (2518)(katheudo from katá = an intensive + heúdō = to sleep) means literally to sleep, fall asleep or be fast asleep (Matt. 8:24; 13:25; 25:5; 26:40, 43, 45; Mark 13:36; 14:37, 40, 41; Luke 22:46; 1 Thess. 5:7; Sept.: Gen. 28:13; 1 Sam. 3:2, 3, 5; 2 Sam. 12:3) and figuratively (as here)  to die or be dead (Matt. 9:24; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52 cf. John 11:11-14; 1 Th. 5:10; Da 12:2). Another figurative sense speaks of an attitude of spiritual laziness or indifference, to be spiritually indolent, to be indifferent. The idea is to be "asleep" in your sin, secure and unconcerned in sin, or indolent and careless in the performance of duty (Eph 5.14, 1 Th 5:6, cf. parallel thought but not using katheudo in Ro 13:11-13; 1 Cor. 15:34).  

Get (stand) up and pray (proseuchomai in the present imperative) that you may not enter into temptation." - This basically repeats what Jesus had commanded in Luke 22:40 (see notes there) but it is repeated because now there is a sense of urgency. The enemy is approaching (Lk 22:47)! So this call is essentially a "call to arms" (so to speak), calling them to "arm" themselves with prayer (cf 2 Cor 10:3-5+, Eph 6:18+)

Bengel on get up and pray - A standing posture of the body is best suited for overcoming drowsiness in prayer.

Get up (450)(anistemi from ana = up, again + histemi = stand, to cause to stand) means literally to get up, to stand up, to stand again. 

When one falls into temptation, the result is sin. Enter is active voice which speaks of a conscious, volitional choice. That's what happens when we "enter into temptation!" It is not an accident, but a choice. It is not temptation's fault, but our fault! 

Temptation (3986) see peirasmos. Jesus had taught the disciples a prayer which they would have been wise to pray at this hour of testing - "‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Mt 6:13+). Do you (I) regularly pray Matthew 6:13? You (I) should because we are continually bombarded with temptations Peter writing "Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war (strateuomai in the present tense = continually strategically attacking) against the soul." (1 Pe 2:11+). 

MacArthur - When the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the ground bloody, but unbowed, the battle was over; the devil defeated; the final temptation successfully overcome. He would triumph over His human enemies: Judas, the Jewish leaders, and the Romans. On the cross, He would defeat Satan (Gen. 3:15; 1 John 3:8) and be made sin for believers that they “might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). He would triumph over death by rising from the dead, and be exalted to the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55-56; Ro 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22) as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14; 19:16) forever (Rev. 11:15).

The cup was in Christ’s hand and He was about to drink it. And His hand was steady. No wonder Philip P. Bliss wrote,

“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God,
Who came Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

C H Spurgeon - Evening, October 23

         “Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”          —Luke 22:46

When is the Christian most liable to sleep? Is it not when his temporal circumstances are prosperous? Have you not found it so? When you had daily troubles to take to the throne of grace, were you not more wakeful than you are now? Easy roads make sleepy travellers. Another dangerous time is when all goes pleasantly in spiritual matters. Christian went not to sleep when lions were in the way, or when he was wading through the river, or when fighting with Apollyon, but when he had climbed half way up the Hill Difficulty, and came to a delightful arbour, he sat down, and forthwith fell asleep, to his great sorrow and loss. The enchanted ground is a place of balmy breezes, laden with fragrant odours and soft influences, all tending to lull pilgrims to sleep. Remember Bunyan’s description: “Then they came to an arbour, warm, and promising much refreshing to the weary pilgrims; for it was finely wrought above head, beautified with greens, and furnished with benches and settles. It had also in it a soft couch, where the weary might lean.” “The arbour was called the Slothful’s Friend, and was made on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims to take up their rest there when weary.” Depend upon it, it is in easy places that men shut their eyes and wander into the dreamy land of forgetfulness. Old Erskine wisely remarked, “I like a roaring devil better than a sleeping devil.” There is no temptation half so dangerous as not being tempted. The distressed soul does not sleep; it is after we enter into peaceful confidence and full assurance that we are in danger of slumbering. The disciples fell asleep after they had seen Jesus transfigured on the mountain top. Take heed, joyous Christian, good frames are near neighbours to temptations: be as happy as you will, only be watchful.

Related Resources:

Luke 22:47   While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him.

KJV Luke 22:47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.


The pericope in Luke 22:47-54 parallels Mt. 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-52; Jn 18:2-12 

Parallel passage: Bold font identifies details not recorded by Luke. Note that in Matthew and Mark the description of Peter cutting off the ear (Mt 26:51, Mk 14:47,48) follows the mention of Jesus' arrest (Mt 26:50, Mk 14:46) whereas in Luke and John the same event (Lk 22:50, 51, Jn 18:10, 11) precedes the mention of His arrest (Lk 22:54, Jn 18:12 - both use "arrested"). 

Matthew's version

Matthew 26:47 While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.”

Mark's version

Mark 14:43-50+ Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away under guard.”

John 18:2 explains that "Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples." And remember that Judas was indwelt by Satan, so when Judas approached Jesus to kiss Him, Satan approached as well. This is frankly "mind blowing!"

While He was still speaking - Speaking what? Lk 22:46 spoke to Peter, James and John "“Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” It is as if He just finishes His command to them to pray for He knew the temptation (test) was about to enter the garden. It is not too much to speculate that these sleepy saints were now awake and overcome not with sleep but with fear! Oh to pray when the Spirit of Jesus urges us to pray that we might not enter into temptation, for He knows what we are about to experience in the form of a test. Jesus had forewarned that His men might be forearmed, but they failed the test. God grant us grace to pray when we are "forewarned" by the Spirit of Christ to pray so that we are forearmed for the test! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Behold, a crowd came - So the arrival of the crowd was temporally connected with Jesus praying. Note the crowd did not interrupt His prayer, so He prayed what He needed to pray and was prepared for the test ("temptation"). This show God's providential control of the timing. The disciples were not prepared! What a frightening sight this must have been to the disciples for the large crowd included Romans soldiers (Jn 18:3) as well as "the chief priests and officers of the Temple and elders who had come against Him." (Lk 22:52)

Wiersbe on a crowd - The presence of such a large group of armed soldiers shows how little Judas really knew about the Lord Jesus. Did he think that Jesus would try to run away or perhaps hide somewhere in the Garden? Judas must have expected Jesus and the disciples to resist arrest; otherwise he would not have enlisted so much help. Perhaps he feared that Jesus might perform a miracle. Judas was deceitful; he was a liar just like Satan who entered into him (John 8:44; 13:27). He defiled almost everything that he touched: his name (Judah = "praise"), the disciple band (Luke 6:13-16), gifts given to Christ (John 12:1-8), and the kiss. He even invaded a private prayer meeting, defiled it with his presence, and betrayed the Saviour with a kiss. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Pr 27:6). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

And the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them - Luke definitively identifies Jesus' betrayer as a disciple by using the phrase one of the twelve

John does not describe the betrayal by a kiss but gives us more detail regarding the makeup of the crowd writing "Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. (John 18:3). A Roman cohort (battalion) (Gk - speira) normally consisted of 600 men (1/10th of a legion), this number being so large because they were probably commanded to pick up this insurrectionist who claimed to be some kind of king.

Hendriksen - Torches and lanterns—to search for the Light of the world. And it was full moon! Swords and cudgels—to subdue the Prince of Peace. For the Man of Sorrows the very sight of this band of ruffians, who considered him their quarry, meant indescribable suffering. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

Clarke adds this note on lanterns - With these they had intended to search the corners and caverns, provided Christ had hidden himself; for they could not have needed them for any other purpose, it being now the fourteenth day of the moon’s age, in the month Nisan, and consequently she appeared full and bright.

Constable on Roman cohort - The Romans stationed troops in the Fortress of Antonia during the Jewish feasts. It stood just north of the temple. Normally these troops resided in Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, the Roman provincial capital.

The NET Note adds that "Because of the improbability of an entire cohort being sent to arrest a single man, some have suggested that speira here refers only to a maniple, a force of 200. But the use of the word here does not necessarily mean the entire cohort was present on this mission, but only that it was the cohort which performed the task (for example, saying the fire department put out the fire does not mean that every fireman belonging to the department was on the scene at the time). These Roman soldiers must have been ordered to accompany the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees by Pilate, since they would have been under the direct command of the Roman prefect or procurator. It is not difficult to understand why Pilate would have been willing to assist the Jewish authorities in such a way. With a huge crowd of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover, the Romans would have been especially nervous about an uprising of some sort. No doubt the chief priests and Pharisees had informed Pilate that this man Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, or in the terms Pilate would understand, king of Israel."

He approached Jesus to kiss Him -  A kiss was frequently given when greeting someone. Luke 7:45; 15:20; Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Pet 5:14.

NET Bible Technical note on the Greek Text - Many manuscripts (D Θ f13 700 pm as well as several versional manuscript) add here, “for this is the sign he gave to them: Whoever I kiss is [the one].” This addition is almost certainly not original, since most of the important manuscripts lack it. It may be a copyist’s attempt to clarify the text, or the accidental inclusion of a marginal gloss. (IN ANY EVENT THE SAME PHRASE IS CLEARLY AUTHENTIC IN Mark 14:44.)

Matthew Henry's Concise - Lk 22:47-53. Nothing can be a greater affront or grief to the Lord Jesus, than to be betrayed by those who profess to be his followers, and say that they love him. Many instances there are, of Christ's being betrayed by those who, under the form of godliness, fight against the power of it. Jesus here gave an illustrious example of his own rule of doing good to those that hate us, as afterwards he did of praying for those that despitefully use us. Corrupt nature warps our conduct to extremes; we should seek for the Lord's direction before we act in difficult circumstances. Christ was willing to wait for his triumphs till his warfare was accomplished, and we must be so too. But the hour and the power of darkness were short, and such the triumphs of the wicked always will be. 


While the Gospel of John does not describe the betrayal of Jesus by a kiss, John does record a discourse between Jesus and the approaching multitude which is not found in the three synoptic Gospels. While it is somewhat difficult to synchronize this conversation with the synoptic accounts, it appears to occur as Judas and the crowd were approaching. You will have to decide for yourself where you think this fits into these events in the Garden...

So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am [He].” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 So when He said to them, “I am [He],” (JESUS' DIVINE NAME - cf Ex 3:14, AND REACTION OF THE JEWS IN Jn 8:58, 59, see also the "I Am's" of John 6:48, 8:12, 9:5, 10:9, 10:11-14, 10:36, 11:25, 14:6) they drew back and fell to the ground. (THIS CLEARLY IS THE EFFECT OF DIVINE POWER) 7 Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am [He]; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” (HIS PRAYER TO HIS FATHER = Jn 17:12 A PRAYER HE APPARENTLY SPOKE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DISCIPLES) 10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” 12 So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, (APPARENTLY AT THIS TIME ALL THE DISCIPLES FLED INCLUDING PETER). (John 18:4-12)

Adam Clarke comments on the crowd falling to the ground - It is strange that, after this, they should dare to approach him; but the Scriptures must be fulfilled....Our Lord chose to give them this proof of his infinite power, that they might know that their power could not prevail against him if he chose to exert his might, seeing that the very breath of his mouth confounded, drove back, and struck them down to the earth. 

Fruchtenbaum - Throughout the Scripture when you find people in the presence of God they always fall on their faces in worship. Falling backward is not a sign of blessing but of judgment, or discipline. (Fruchtenbaum asks what does this suggest about "slain in the Spirit" where people fall backwards?)

John Trapp on the crowd falling to the ground adds "Here our Saviour let out a little beam of the majesty of his Deity, and 500 men fell before him.”

Maclaren - Wherever in our Lord’s life any incident indicates more emphatically than usual the lowliness of His humiliation, there, by the side of it, you get something that indicates the majesty of His glory.

See study of  eimi for discussion of "ego eimi" - I Am. (See also Wikipedia) The Gospel of John has 23 uses of "ego eimi" by Jesus - Jn. 4:26; Jn. 6:20; Jn. 6:35; Jn. 6:41; Jn. 6:48; Jn. 6:51; Jn. 8:12; Jn. 8:18; Jn. 8:24; Jn. 8:28; Jn. 8:58; Jn. 10:7; Jn. 10:9; Jn. 10:11; Jn. 10:14; Jn. 11:25; Jn. 13:19; Jn. 14:6; Jn. 15:1; Jn. 15:5; Jn. 18:5; Jn. 18:6; Jn. 18:8;

Luke 22:48   But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

KJV Luke 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?


Parallel passages: Words in bold are not in Luke's gospel. Note especially that Luke does not have a description of Judas addressing Jesus as "Rabbi" and giving Him a kiss (Depicted above in Tissot's painting "The Kiss of Judas" - see also Kiss of Judas). 

Matthew 26:48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” (PRESUMABLY JESUS ASKED THE QUESTION IN Lk 22:48) 49 Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed (kataphileo means "to kiss much or to kiss again and again." - What a contrast between Judas' fervent fake kiss of Jesus' face and the woman's tender, fervent kiss of Jesus' feet! The first betrays Him to death, while the latter would have been willing to die for Him! Cp Lk 7:38; prodigal kissed by his father - Lk 15:20!) Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend (NOT USUAL GREEK WORD FOR FRIEND, BUT MEANS SOMETHING LIKE "MAN," NOT NECESSARILY MEAN), do what you have come for.” Then (THEY SAW THE "SIGN") they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

Comment: Judas' greeting of Jesus as Rabbi further highlights the depth of the traitor's hypocrisy, for Rabbi is transliterated from the Hebrew and literally means "my great one." It is used in the NT as a respectful term of address for a scribe or one recognized as an outstanding teacher of the law. Don't miss one of the most striking contrasts in the entire Bible - Judas' hypocritical betraying greeting of "Hail,Rabbi" set against Jesus' loving heartfelt greeting of "Friend!"

Mark 14:44-46+  Now he who was betraying Him had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him away under guard.” (PRESUMABLY JESUS ASKED THE QUESTION IN Lk 22:48) 45 After coming, Judas immediately went to Him, saying, “Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 46 They laid hands on Him and seized Him. 

Spurgeon - This sign of Judas was typical of the way in which Jesus is generally betrayed. When men intend to undermine the inspiration of the Scriptures, how do they begin their books? Why, always with a declaration that they wish to promote the truth of Christ! Christ’s name is often slandered by those who make a loud profession of attachment to him, and then sin foully as the chief of transgressors.

But Jesus said to him - The contrasting "but" suggests that Judas was drawing near and preparing to give Jesus a kiss, but Jesus was in essence saying first let me ask a question. Jesus in His great compassion is giving Judas ONE MORE CHANCE to repent, but it would be to no avail so that the "Son of Perdition" (indicating both his character and his destiny! John 17:12) would have only himself to blame for his suffering the deepest degree of punishment (cf Mt 11:21-24; see note on degrees of punishment) forever and ever. 

A T Robertson adds that "Jesus challenges the act of Judas openly and calls it betrayal, but it did not stop him!"

Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? - Or "by means of a kiss." Jesus asked this question before the hypocritical kiss (Mt 26:49, Mk 14:45). Some see it as a type of rebuke. Of course the question was rhetorical for Jesus knew the "Judas sign" would be a kiss, which ironically and sadly was normally a sign of friendship! This picture of a kiss normally expressing friendship recalls the messianic prophecy in Psalm 41:9 "Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me." This prophecy was actually fulfilled at the last supper, Jesus declaring "I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’ (Jn 13:18)

David Guzik writes "Of course, Jesus knew the irony of being betrayed with a warm greeting; so He essentially asked Judas “are you so dead to all feeling that you can kiss and betray?” Judas is a good example of a seared conscience."

NET Note - Judas' act of betrayal when he kissed Jesus is especially sinister when it is realized that it was common in the culture of the times for a disciple to kiss his master/rabbi/teacher when greeting him. 

William Barclay - When a disciple met a beloved Rabbi, he laid his right hand on the Rabbi’s left shoulder and his left hand on the right shoulder and kissed him. It was the kiss of a disciple to a beloved master that Judas used as a sign of betrayal.

C H Spurgeon writes that Jesus "must be betrayed by His friend, that He may bear the utmost depths of suffering, and that in every separate circumstance there may be a well of grief.”  (Luke 22 Exposition)

Son of Man - It is interesting that when Caiaphas asked Jesus to tell them whether He was the Son of God (Mt 26:63), Jesus said in essence He was the Son of God but persisted in referring to Himself as the Son of Man declaring "you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” (Mt 26:64) Son of Man emphasizes His humanity. "Son of Man" was the designation prophesied in Daniel 7:13-14 and well-known by the entire nation of Israel as a title for Messiah. The Son of God became the Son of Man that He might change the sons of men into sons of God (1 Jn 3:1KJV+). 

Luke frequently uses the title "Son of Man" - Luke 6:5, 22; 7:34; 9:22, 26, 44, 58; 11:30; 12:8, 10, 40; 17:22, 24, 26, 30; 18:8, 31; 19:10; 21:27, 36; 22:22, 48, 69; 24:7.

Warren Wiersbe - Someone has defined "kiss" as "the contraction of the mouth due to the enlargement of the heart." But not all kisses are born out of a loving heart, for kisses can also be deceitful. In the case of Judas, his kiss was the basest kind of hypocrisy and treachery....Judas used the kiss as a sign to tell the arresting officers who Jesus was (Matt. 26:48-49). Jesus had taught in the temple day after day, and yet the temple guards could not recognize Him! (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Kiss (5370)(philema from phileo = to be a friend to, to be fond of an individual or an object, to have affection for and sometimes to kiss as a mark of tenderness) refers to a kiss as a token of love or friendship. Luke used philema in Lk 7:45. The holy kiss in the first century was a physical toke of welcome or farewell. Such physical expression was normal among the same sex.

Lenski comments - Judas is asked to realize what he is doing in order to be terrified at his own act. The emphasis is on the first and the last Greek word: "with a kiss—dost thou betray?" The kiss, the great and universal sign of friendship and love, is used here for the basest and most damnable act, the betrayal of no less a one than "the Son of man," he who is man and yet more than man (see 5:24). Judas performs his vicious act in the most vicious and atrocious way. John 18:4-9 brings out the truth that the kissing and the betrayal of Judas amounted to just nothing, for Jesus points himself out to his captors, prevents any molestation of the eleven, and delivers himself up. It was thus and not upon Judas' kiss that the chiliarch and possibly also the Jewish commander ordered men to step forward to take Jesus a prisoner. (The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

NET Note - Jesus' comment about betraying the Son of Man with a kiss shows the hypocrisy and blindness of an attempt to cover up sin. On "misused kisses" in the Bible, see Ge 27:26–27; 2 Sa 15:5; Pr 7:13; 27:6; and 2 Sa 20:9. 

Mattoon on Judas' kiss - The kisses were hollow with hypocrisy, corrupt with chicanery, masked with misery, teeming with treachery, and plagued with penury of any passion for Jesus Christ.

C H Spurgeon  - Morning, March 25 

         “Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?”  —Luke 22:48

“The kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss. Whenever a man is about to stab religion, he usually professes very great reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy which is armour-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy. The young man, void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the strange woman: may my soul be so graciously instructed all this day, that “the much fair speech” of the world may have no effect upon me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be betrayed with a kiss!

But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of his visible Church; I sit at the communion table: all these are so many kisses of my lips. Am I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently I am a Judas, and it were better for me that I had never been born. Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love thee, Jesus, and though I often grieve thee, yet I would desire to abide faithful even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because I betrayed my Master with a kiss.

QUESTION - What is the significance of Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss?

ANSWERJudas Iscariot was one of the original twelve disciples who followed and were taught by Jesus. Being in Jesus’ “inner circle,” Judas had a closer relationship to Jesus than most people during His ministry. Judas betrayed the Lord to the Jewish authorities. The pre-arranged signal was that the person Judas kissed was to be arrested and taken away (Mark 14:44). In this way the Son of Man was betrayed with a kiss (Luke 22:48).

In the culture of first-century Israel, a kiss was not always a romantic expression of love; rather, a kiss on the cheek was a common greeting, a sign of deep respect, honor, and brotherly love (see Luke 7:45; Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). For a student who had great respect for his teacher, a kiss fell well within the healthy expression of honor.

What really stands out in the mode of Judas’s betrayal is that Judas used such an intimate expression of love and respect to betray Jesus. Judas’s actions were hypocritical in the extreme—his actions said, “I respect and honor you,” at the exact time he was betraying Jesus to be murdered. Judas’s actions illustrate Proverbs 27:6, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Often, foes disguise themselves as friends. Evil often wears a mask to conceal its true purpose.

In Luke 22:3, we see that Satan entered into Judas before Judas went to see the chief priests and set things up to betray Jesus. Satan possessed Judas in hopes of using him to destroy Jesus’ ministry and get Him out of the way, and Satan used a kiss—a sign of affection—to unleash a surge of hatred. However, there is nothing the Evil One does that God doesn’t know about or have complete control over. God allowed Satan to possess Judas and use him to betray Jesus in such a deceptive and hypocritical way in order to bring about our redemption. The betrayal itself was prophesied hundreds of years before its fulfillment (Psalm 41:9).

When Jesus was betrayed by a kiss, He identified with the troubles of David, who wrote, “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers” (Psalm 55:12–14). Job’s emotional pain also foreshadowed Jesus’ sorrow: “Those I love have turned against me” (Job 19:19).

Once Judas gave the kiss, the deed was done. Jesus was betrayed into the government’s hands to be crucified. Judas was “seized with remorse” (Matthew 27:3) over what he’d done. He gave the money back to the temple authorities and hanged himself out of guilt (verse 5).

QUESTION - Why did Judas betray Jesus? See video

ANSWER - While we cannot be absolutely certain why Judas betrayed Jesus, some things are certain.

First, although Judas was chosen to be one of the Twelve (John 6:64), all scriptural evidence points to the fact that he never believed Jesus to be God. He even may not have been convinced that Jesus was the Messiah (as Judas understood it). Unlike the other disciples that called Jesus “Lord,” Judas never used this title for Jesus and instead called him “Rabbi,” which acknowledged Jesus as nothing more than a teacher. While other disciples at times made great professions of faith and loyalty (John 6:68; 11:16), Judas never did so and appears to have remained silent. This lack of faith in Jesus is the foundation for all other considerations listed below. The same holds true for us. If we fail to recognize Jesus as God incarnate, and therefore the only One who can provide forgiveness for our sins—and the eternal salvation that comes with it—we will be subject to numerous other problems that stem from a wrong view of God. 

Second, Judas not only lacked faith in Christ, but he also had little or no personal relationship with Jesus. When the synoptic gospels list the Twelve, they are always listed in the same general order with slight variations (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16). The general order is believed to indicate the relative closeness of their personal relationship with Jesus. Despite the variations, Peter and the brothers James and John are always listed first, which is consistent with their relationships with Jesus. Judas is always listed last, which may indicate his relative lack of a personal relationship with Christ. Additionally, the only documented dialogue between Jesus and Judas involves Judas being rebuked by Jesus after his greed-motivated remark to Mary (John 12:1-8), Judas’ denial of his betrayal (Matthew 26:25), and the betrayal itself (Luke 22:48).

Third, Judas was consumed with greed to the point of betraying the trust of not only Jesus, but also his fellow disciples, as we see in John 12:5-6. Judas may have desired to follow Jesus simply because he saw the great following and believed he could profit from collections taken for the group. The fact that Judas was in charge of the moneybag for the group would indicate his interest in money (John 13:29).

Additionally, Judas, like most people at the time, believed the Messiah was going to overthrow Roman occupation and take a position of power ruling over the nation of Israel. Judas may have followed Jesus hoping to benefit from association with Him as the new reigning political power. No doubt he expected to be among the ruling elite after the revolution. By the time of Judas’ betrayal, Jesus had made it clear that He planned to die, not start a rebellion against Rome. So Judas may have assumed—just as the Pharisees did—that since He would not overthrow the Romans, He must not be the Messiah they were expecting.

There are a few Old Testament verses that point to the betrayal, some more specifically than others. Here are two:

“Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9, see fulfillment in Matthew 26:14, 48-49).

“I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the handsome price at which they priced me!' So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter” (Zechariah 11:12-13; see Matthew 27:3-5 for the fulfillment of the Zechariah prophecy).

These Old Testament prophecies indicate that Judas’ betrayal was known to God and that it was sovereignly planned beforehand as the means by which Jesus would be killed.

But if Judas’ betrayal was known to God, did Judas have a choice, and is he held responsible for his part in the betrayal? It is difficult for many to reconcile the concept of “free will” (as most people understand it) with God’s foreknowledge of future events, and this is largely due to our limited experience of going through time in a linear fashion. If we see God as existing outside of time, since He created everything before “time” began, then we can understand that God sees every moment in time as the present. We experience time in a linear way—we see time as a straight line, and we pass from one point gradually to another, remembering the past we have already traveled through, but unable to see the future we are approaching. However, God, being the eternal Creator of the construct of time, is not “in time” or on the timeline, but outside of it. It might help to think of time (in relation to God) as a circle with God being the center and therefore equally close to all points.

In any case, Judas had the full capacity of making his choice—at least up to the point where “Satan entered into him” (John 13:27)—and God’s foreknowledge (John 13:10, 18, 21) in no way supersedes Judas’ ability to make any given choice. Rather, what Judas would choose eventually, God saw as if it was a present observation, and Jesus made it clear that Judas was responsible for his choice and would be held accountable for it. “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me” (Mark 14:18). Notice that Jesus characterizes Judas’ participation as a betrayal. And regarding accountability for this betrayal Jesus said, “Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born” (Mark 14:21). Satan, too, had a part in this, as we see in John 13:26-27, and he, too, will be held accountable for his deeds. God in His wisdom was able, as always, to manipulate even Satan’s rebellion for the benefit of mankind. Satan helped send Jesus to the cross, and on the cross sin and death were defeated, and now God’s provision of salvation is freely available to all who receive Jesus Christ as

THOUGHT- I would suggest there is one additional and very important reason Judas betrayed Jesus and that is that he was under the control of Satan who had entered him in Luke 22:3+. Judas was clearly disposed to betraying Jesus, but Satan was very likely the evil catalyst that pushed him over the edge. 

Related Resources:

Luke 22:49   When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"

KJV Luke 22:49  When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?


When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen - By this time the other eight disciples had probably also joined Jesus. This would have been after the disciples witnessed Judas kissing Jesus and the Roman soldiers coming toward Jesus to grasp Him and arrest Him. The disciples finally and fully recognized Jesus' enemies had come to take their Master.

Recall that earlier Jesus had told them "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered (also translated betrayed) into the hands of men." (Lk 9:44+).

Lord (2962)(kurios) primarily means the possessor, owner, master, the supreme one, one who is sovereign (used this way of Roman emperors - Acts 25:26) and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership and uncontested power. (Mt 20:31; Mk 11:3; Lk 7:13; 10:1, 39, 41; Jn 20:18, 20, 28; Ac ts2:36; 9:10f, 42; 10:36; Ro 1:4; 10:9; 12:11; 16:12; 1 Cor 4:17; 6:13f, 17; 11:23; Eph 6:8; Col 1:10; Philemon 1:25; Heb 2:3; 7:14; 1 Pt 1:3; 2 Pt 1:2; Rev 22:20.)

Only Luke records the disciples' question "shall we strike with the sword?" Recall  (1) that Jesus had said "whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one" (Lk 22:36+) and (2) they did have two swords among the 11 men. (Lk 22:38+). Their question indicates that, as so often previously, they had failed to grasp the meaning of the words of Jesus!

Mattoon agrees writing "The disciples remembered Jesus' words about the sword (Luke 22:35-38), so they asked Him if now was the time to make use of their two swords. They totally misunderstood what Jesus said." Why did Peter resort to the sword? The answer is he was unprepared for what was happening in Gethsemane. He was unprepared because he slept when the Lord wanted him to pray. He was unprepared because earlier, when Jesus was trying to get through to him and the other disciples, Peter was talking when he should have been paying attention to Christ. He now fights, when he should have yielded. He did not discern the events of his situation with what Jesus had been saying up to this point. He was fighting the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons. Peter's real enemy was Satan, and His real weapon was the Word of God. The same truth holds true for us, too. Beloved, our real enemy is Satan. The Scriptures are the most effective way in dealing with him and our own sinfulness.

APPLICATION - In Gethsemane, the cut ear is an emblem of the LACK of preparedness, prayerfulness, peacefulness, pleasantness, patience, and the lack of perception. How many times do you "cut ears" or lash out at others with cutting words or harsh actions because you are not prepared for the unexpected, you haven't prayed, you lack patience, and you are weak on perception or wisdom to properly handle the difficulties of your situation? We have all been in that boat many times. (Mattoon's Treasures from Luke)

So not surprisingly, ever impulsive Simon Peter did not wait for Jesus to reply to their question, but as usual took things into his own hands (or literally took a sword in one hand!) 

Alexander Maclaren - When the Church takes sword in hand, it usually shows that it does not know how to wield it, and as often as not has struck the wrong man.

One of the most horrible examples of the Church taking up the sword is the period known as the Crusades. Wikipedia writes "Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, and their leaders generally retained control of captured territory instead of returning it to the Byzantines. During the People's Crusade, thousands of Jews were murdered in what is now called the Rhineland massacres."

Sword (3162)(machaira from mache = a knife, sword) refers to a relatively short sword (even dagger) for cutting and stabbing. It was extremely difficult to approach a soldier well trained in the use of the machaira for it was short and could be moved rapidly. The fact that it was two-edged made it possible to strike on either side without changing its position in the hand, and its razor-sharp point could pierce armor.

Luke 22:50   And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

KJV Luke 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.


Parallel Passages: Words in bold not in Luke's version. 

Matthew 26:51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 

Mark 14:47+ But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.

John 18:10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 

Spurgeon on Peter drawing his sword - It would have been far better if Peter’s hands had been clasped in prayer

Guzik - With one sword, Peter was willing to take on a small army of men, yet he couldn’t pray with Jesus for one hour. Prayer is the best work we can do, and often the most difficult. With his sword, Peter accomplished very little. He only cut off one ear, and really just made a mess that Jesus had to clean up by healing the severed ear (Luke 22:51). When Peter moved in the power of the world, he only cut off ears. But when he was filled with the Spirit, using the Word of God, Peter pierced hearts for God’s glory (Acts 2:37).

And one of them struck the slave of the high priest - John 18:10 says the one who struck the slave was Simon Peter and that the slave of the high priest was named Malchus. In Lk 22:38 the disciples had told Jesus they had two swords, and it comes as no surprise that Peter had one of them! John in fact substantiates this premise with the phrase "Simon Peter then having a sword." So Peter impulsively reached and drew out his sword and cut off the ear. There was an old western (1957-1963) with a hero named Paladin whose calling card (See Pix) said "Have gun. Will travel!" Peter was an ancient version of "Palladin" whose "calling card" was "Have knife. Will cut!" 

Perhaps Peter wanted to fulfill his promise to defend Jesus at all costs having previously declared "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” (Mt 26:35).

Cut off his right ear - Luke the physician tells us it was the right ear which was cut off (as did John in Jn 18:10). Typical physician! (I am one so I know we are a bit obsessive-compulsive!) Imagine the quick violent motion of Peter's arm shooting out toward Malchus' head (most likely to cut his head off) and just clipping off his ear. We'll have to wait to heaven to ask Peter if we was going for a warning shot or a fatal blow, but praise God, Jehovah Rapha was at His side. Otherwise, Peter may have also been taken into custody and who would have preached the powerful Pentecostal sermon in Acts 2:14-41?

Barclay comments that “Had Jesus not healed Malchus, Peter would have been arrested as well; and there might have been four crosses at Calvary.”

Trapp adds "A wonderful work of God it was surely, that hereupon he was not hewn in an hundred pieces by the barbarous soldiers."

What a difference the day makes, especially if it is the Day of Pentecost, the day when Peter received the gift of the Spirit! When Peter used sword-power he could only cut off ears. But filled with the Spirit and using the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17), the word of God which is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb 4:12), Peter was able to pierce hearts for God's glory! (Acts 2:37) And every believer has access to the same powerful "divine sword!" Are you using your "sword" for God's glory?

Wiersbe quips "Peter had been sleeping when he should have been praying, talking when he should have been listening, and boasting when he should have been fearing. Now he was fighting when he should have been surrendering!  Peter made a number of serious mistakes when he attacked Malchus with his sword. To begin with, Peter was fighting the wrong enemy with the wrong weapon. Our enemies are not flesh and blood, and they cannot be defeated with ordinary weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-6; Eph. 6:10-18). In His wilderness temptations, Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God (Matt. 4:1-11), and that is the weapon we must use (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12). Peter also revealed the wrong attitude and trusted the wrong energy. While Jesus was surrendering, Peter was busy declaring war! And he was depending on "the arm of flesh." His whole approach to the situation was not at all Christlike (John 18:36) and stands as a good warning to us today. The lost world may act this way, but it is not the way God's servants should act (Matt. 12:19; 2 Tim. 2:24). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Luke 22:51   But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him.

KJV Luke 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

NET  Luke 22:51 But Jesus said, "Enough of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him. 


Parallel Passages: Words in bold not in Luke's version.

Matthew 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53 “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”  

John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (See NOTE ON Lk 22:42 FOR COMMENTS ON "CUP")

But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this" - Jesus commands Peter to stop this violence immediately. In Matthew's account Jesus explains why Peter's action was absurd and unnecessary. First Jesus explains "for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword." (Mt 26:53) Jesus was in effect telling Peter if he took a life with his sword, he would suffer just punishment for his murder! Then He asks a rhetorical question (expecting an affirmative reply) “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (72,000 ANGELS - LOOK WHAT A SINGLE ANGEL DID TO THE ASSYRIANS IN 2 Ki 19:35!)" (Mt 26:53) So Jesus could have called for the "angelic cavalry" had He wanted to be defended. He goes on to explain why Peter's actions were to cease and why He did not cry for help, stating that these things must happen this way in order to fulfill the Scriptures (Mt 26:54, cf Mk 14:49), both Old and New Testament predictions (Here are a few - OT = Ps 41:9, Ps 55:12-14, Isa 53:2-12+, et al; NT = Mt 16:21; Mt 17:22-23; Mt 20:18-19, Mt 12:40; Mt 17:9, 12). 

Blum writes that "Peter's blind loyalty was touching, but it missed God's plan. Zeal without knowledge in religion often leads men astray (cf. Ro 10:2)."

Stein - As in Lk 22:38 they did not understand Jesus’ teachings. They did not pray (Lk 22:40, 46), and thus they neither knew nor were able to act correctly in this time of trial.

Stop is a command (present imperative) and is in the plural, which would be directed not just at Peter but all the other 10 disciples (at least one of whom also had a knife!).

Stop (present imperative)(1439)(eao) means to allow someone to do something, to let or to permit (Mt 24:43; Lk 4:41 = "He would not allow them to speak", Acts 14:16; Acts 23:32; Acts 27:32, 28:2 1 Cor 10:13), Of leaving the anchors in the sea (Acts 27:40).

Eao - 11x in 11v in the NAS -  allow (2), allowed(2), leaving(1), left(1), let(2), permit(1), permitted(1), stop(1). Uses in NAS = Mt. 24:43; Lk. 4:41; Lk. 22:51; Acts 14:16; Acts 16:7; Acts 19:30; Acts 23:32; Acts 27:32; Acts 27:40; Acts 28:4; 1 Co. 10:13. The Textus Receptus has two additional uses not found in the more modern Greek transcripts -  Acts 5:38KJV = "let them alone" and Rev 2:20NKJV = "you allow that woman Jezebel".

Matthew 24:43   “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Luke 4:41  Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ. 
Luke 22:51  But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
Acts 14:16   “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways;
Acts 16:7  and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;
Acts 19:30   And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him.
Acts 23:32  But the next day, leaving the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to the barracks.
Acts 27:32  Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it fall away. 
Acts 27:40 And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach.
Acts 28:4;  When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.”

Eao - 28x in 28v in the Septuagint - Gen. 38:16; Exod. 32:10; Deut. 9:14; Jos. 19:47; Jdg. 11:37; 2 Sam. 15:34; Est. 3:8; Job 7:19; Job 9:18; Job 9:28; Job 10:20; Job 31:34; Dan. 2:44; Dan. 4:15; Dan. 4:23; Dan. 4:26

He touched his ear and healed him - Only Luke the physician describes the supernatural healing, Jesus' last recorded miracle before He was crucified. Imagine the thoughts that must have coursed through those who had come to seize Jesus when they witnessed this miraculous healing! This is surely an act of grace and mercy not just to Malchus but also to all who witnessed this miracle. It provided another opportunity for His enemies to consider His claim that He was the Messiah, that He was God in the flesh even as He healed flesh! Whether any of those who witnessed Jesus' miracle repented and believed, the Scripture does not say. We will have to wait until we get to heaven to learn whether anyone responded to His clear manifestation of His divinity!

J C Ryle on the healing of the ear - There are several remarkable things about this miracle. It is the only instance in the Gospels of our Lord healing a fresh wound caused by external violence. It is a striking instance of a miracle worked on an enemy, unasked for, without faith in the person healed, and without any apparent thankfulness for the cure. It is an extraordinary proof of the wickedness and hardness of our Lord's enemies, that so wonderful a miracle as this could be wrought without any effect being produced on them. Some think that in the darkness the miracle was not seen by anyone except those immediately around Malchus.

Touched (having touched)(681)(hapto/haptomai) means to grasp, to lay hold of with the basic meaning of touching for the purpose of manipulating. Hapto conveys the sense handling of an object as to exert a modifying influence upon it. The majority of the 39 uses are in the Gospels and are associated with Jesus touching someone (or someone touching Him) usually with a beneficial effect. The first NT use is of Jesus healing a leper (Lk 5:13) and the last recorded touch of healing healing the slave's hear. For other uses of touch in healing see Lk 7:14+ and Lk 8:43–47+.

Healed (2390)(iaomai) means to cure, to heal, to restore. Iaomai refers primarily to physical healing in the NT (although clearly there is overlap because some of these instances involved demonic oppression - Lk 9:42), and much less commonly to spiritual healing or healing (saving) from "moral illnesses" and the consequences of sin. Most of the NT uses in the Gospels refer to physical healing by Jesus (excepting the physical healing that resulted by release from demonic oppression). However in the OT (Lxx) uses iaomai refers primarily to spiritual healing by the Messiah (Isa 53:5+, Isa 61:1, et al).

Hendriksen - We once more see Jesus as the Great Sympathizer and Healer, the Savior, and this not only for the soul (in the case of all who place their trust in him) but even for the body. See Matt. 4:23; Luke 4:40; 7:21; Acts 2:22; 10:38....From these passages it becomes clear that when Jesus extended his hand to touch and heal the ear of Malchus, this was the last service he rendered with his hand before he was bound. Therefore, the last action of that hand, while it was still free, was one of love, one of rendering service to men. How it reminds us of His other similar deeds! Again and again he had placed His hand on people to heal and to bless them. He had even taken the little ones into His arm to bless them. Here, again, what a lesson for us all! (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

And lo, thy touch brought life and health,
Gave speech and strength and sight;
Lo, youth renewed and frenzy calmed,
Owned thee, the Lord of light.

And now, O Lord, be near to bless,
Almighty as of yore,
In crowded streets, by restless couch,
As by Gennesareth's shore.
--From "Thine Arm, O Lord" by E. H. Plumptre

Lawrence Richards - At the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry He had said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Now, about to go to the cross, He took love a step further. Even as your enemies seek to destroy you, make them whole.

Jesus' non-retaliatory response to those who sought to kill Him gives a challenging example for every disciple of every age when we are unfairly treated, etc! Clearly Jesus practiced what He preached in Luke 6:27-29+ (cp Lk 6:35-36)...

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either."

Note that there are 4 commands, all in the present imperative, calling for this to be a disciple's lifestyle! Just try to accomplish this by relying on fleshly power! It is impossible. Recall that Jesus was fully Man and as such He was giving us an example of how disciples should and could live. What was His "secret?" Jesus was continually filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit (cf Acts 10:38, Lk 4:1-2, 14+), the same Holy Spirit to Whom you and I have daily access! (Eph 5:18+, Gal 5:16+) Are you availing yourself of the gift of the Spirit Who lives in you to enable you to do supernaturally that which you absolutely cannot do naturally? 

ILLUSTRATION - In The Grace of Giving, Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor. "No, Peter," General Washington said. "I cannot grant you the life of your friend." "My friend!" exclaimed the old preacher. "He's the bitterest enemy I have." "What?" cried Washington. "You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. I'll grant your pardon," and he did. Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata—no longer an enemy but a friend. (Treasures from Luke)

ILLUSTRATION - RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL - A Salvation Army officer tells of an old Maori woman who had won the name of "Warrior Brown" by her fighting qualities when drunk or enraged. She was converted, and gave her testimony at an open air meeting, whereupon some foolish person hit her with a nasty blow with a potato. A week before, the cowardly insulter would have needed to make himself scarce for his trouble; but what a change!"Warrior" picked up the potato without a word and put it in her pocket. No more was heard of the incident until the harvest festival came around, and then "Warrior" brought a little sack of potatoes and explained that she had cut up and planted the insulting potato, and was now presenting to the Lord its increase. (Mattoon's Treasures)

Luke 22:52   Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber?

KJV Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?


Parallel Passages:

Matthew 26:55a At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber?....

Mark 14:48+ And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a robber? 

Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him - The officers (strategos from stratós = an army + ágō = to lead) literally referred to the leader of an army and in this context referred to the commanders of the Jewish soldiers who stood guard over the Temple to maintain order. Mark 14:43 omits officers and adds scribes, the teachers of the law (who should have known what they were doing was illegal! They were teachers of the law but not doers of the law and thus deluded themselves as described in James 1:22+). Note that all groups that composed the Sanhedrin were represented. 

Hendriksen - Jesus then pointed out to the crowd—to all those who had come to arrest him and all those who gloated over his capture—how cowardly and perfidiously they were behaving. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? (cf Mt 26:55, Mk 14:48) - NLT paraphrases it "Am I some dangerous revolutionary." NIV has "Am I leading a rebellion." HCSB has "as if I were a criminal?" This is a stinging question to the cowardly, hypocritical Jewish religious leaders (and Judas)! Instead of arresting Him in the Temple court in daylight, they showed their cowardice by coming to arrest Him like one would a common criminal at night in a secluded place. And they came "armed to the teeth" clearly expecting a fight (they knew He had 11 men with him), one that Jesus would not give them.

An insurrectionist is one who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority. So in a sense the Messiah was an "insurrectionist,"  but not as the world defines it, for He was "armed" with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and had come to overthrow once and for all time the power of Satan and of Sin! Hallelujah! What a Victorious Savior!

Jesus' mention of "as you would against a robber" reminds one that the prophecy about Himself in Isaiah 53:12+ was beginning to be fulfilled, for indeed He was now being "numbered with transgressors," (Lk 22:37) or being treated like a common criminal, even though its primary fulfillment occurs in Lk 23:32–34, 39–43.

Robber (3027)(lestes from lizoma = to plunder, seize) means one who steals openly and by violence and who would violently resist arrest and try to escape. Coming with swords and clubs, they were approaching Jesus as one would a highway robber (Lk 10:30, 36), a revolutionary or insurrectionist who favors the use of force. The irony is that while Jesus was not a robber or revolutionary,  Barabbas was a robber, (lestes Jn 18:40) and insurrectionist (Lk 23:19, Mk 15:7) who was released in place of Jesus who was then crucified between two robbers (lestes Mk 15:27)!

Luke 22:53   "While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours."

KJV Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.


Parallel Passages: Bold font indicates details NOT mentioned by Luke. 

Matthew 26:55b ...Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. 56 “But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled (fulfilling His earlier prediction that they would be "scattered" - Mt 26:31, Mk 14:27).

Comment: None of the disciples stood beside Jesus Who had predicted their desertion earlier declaring in Matthew 26:31 "You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, 'I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.'" Jesus quoted Zechariah 13:7+ which had prophesied they would desert Him, Zechariah writing " “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones." (See Note)

Matthew Poole - We never know our own hearts when confronted with the prospect of great trials, until we come to grapple with them, and are engaged in them. These disciples had all said they would not forsake Him; when it comes to the push, not one of them stands by Him.

Mark 14:49+ “Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.” 50 And they all left Him and fled. 51 A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. 52 But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.

Comment: Many commentaries feel that this "young man" was Mark himself, but there is no clear support for this from the Scripture. 

MacArthur writes "Because this detail is unique to Mark’s Gospel, some interpreters have suggested that perhaps the young man was Mark himself. But nothing in the text indicates who the man was, making attempts to identify him entirely speculative. Clearly, the man’s identity is irrelevant to Mark’s purpose for including this shocking detail in his historical record. Mark’s point was likely to emphasize the complete isolation Christ experienced in that moment."

Thus we see that both Matthew and Mark record the fact that "all the disciples left Him and fled," a detail not recorded by Luke. The disciples had failed to pray lest they enter into temptation, and now when the temptation came, they were unprepared. When they realized that Jesus was not going to resist arrest, their faith faltered and they fled in fear (they "entered fully into temptation")! 

In addition Luke does not have Jesus' words regarding fulfilled prophecy, but both other synoptic Gospels record His words that "all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures and the prophets." (Mt 26:56, Mk 14:49). 

John MacArthur elaborates on the fulfillment of prophecy - "Even in their hostility toward Christ, the apostate leaders of Israel were fulfilling the redemptive plan of God, as predicted by the OT prophets (cf. Ps. 41:9; Ps 55:12-14; Isa. 53:3, 7-8, 12; Zech. 11:12; 13:7+) and by Jesus Himself (cf. Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10:32-34, Mt 26:31). God sovereignly used their wicked schemes to accomplish His eternal purposes (cf. Ge 50:20). (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Mark).

While I was with you daily in the Temple, you did not lay hands on Me - "You did not seize Me" (Mt 26:55b, Mk 14:49). Jesus rebukes His opponents for their cowardice for not arresting Him during the day as He taught in the Temple (cf Lk 19:48, Lk 20:19, Lk 22:2) for the people would have opposed them (19:47–48; 20:19; 22:2; cf. also John 18:20).

Stein adds "The very fact that Jesus taught daily and openly in the temple distinguishes his activity from that of the revolutionaries, who operated in the mountains and had to be hunted down. Jesus did not operate in the darkness, as his opponents were presently doing, but in the light." (NAC)

Hendriksen has a interesting note - By addressing the crowds in this manner Jesus was in reality doing them a favor. He was exposing their guilt. Is it not true that it takes confession of guilt to bring about salvation? Though it is a fact that the great majority of those who heard Jesus speak these words hardened themselves in sin, we have no right to conclude that the message, together with other messages that followed (for example, the seven words from the cross, Peter's Pentecost address, etc.), was completely ineffective. For example see Acts 6:7. The impression left upon us by these words of our Lord is that they were spoken in a calm and earnest manner. To be sure, Jesus rebukes, but at the same time He is even now seeking the lost, that He may save them. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

While Luke surprisingly makes no mention of the fearful response of the disciples, Matthew and Mark both record that "all the disciples left Him and fled" (Mt 26:56, Mk 14:50). In addition Mark adds the unique account  of the young man who fled in a linen sheet (Mk 14:51-52). 

Lay (1614)(ekteino) gives us a graphic picture meaning literally to stretch out (Luke adds Greek word for hands) in context clearly signifying a hostile intent, specifically the intent being to arrest Jesus. Matthew uses ekteino to describe when Jesus "stretched out His hand and took hold of" Peter as he was beginning to sink under the water (Mt 14:31)! Matthew also uses ekteino to describe when Simon Peter "reached and drew out his sword" to cut off Malchus' ear (Mt 26:51)! Jesus used ekteino to describe Peter's mode of death declaring "when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone will gird you," describing Peter's crucifixion (Jn 21:18). (See 1 Clement 5:4; 6:1; See Eusebius The Ecclesiastical History Book 2. Chapter 25, note 5 = "It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day.").

Prior to this time it was not yet the hour, but now the hour has arrived...

(Jn 7:30) So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

(Jn 8:20) These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come

God's redemptive timetable was perfectly on schedule! As Mark 14:49 states “this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures,” which is "another way of pointing to the arrival of the time in which God’s redemptive plan would take place and find its fulfillment." (Stein)

This hour...yours -  Hour is hora which is not a literal 60 minutes in this context but speaks of a defined period of time, a "fixed time" or specific time for some activity, in this case the evil activities surrounding Jesus' arrest, trials and crucifixion. As Jesus had prophesied earlier "Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour' (hora)? But for this purpose I came to this hour (hora)." While this "hour" might seem to be an hour of triumph for the enemies of Jesus, His crucifixion would bring about His hour of triumph over the power of darkness (Satan) and the penalty and power of Sin.


Stein - That which was taking place involved a far deeper opposition than that between the Jewish leadership and Jesus. It involved the cosmic opposition between Satan, the ruler of this age, and God (cf. Acts 26:18; cf. also Luke 22:3, 31). The darkness of the present moment is symbolic of the reign of darkness at this time. Compare John 13:30. (NAC)

The power of darkness are yours - NLT has "the time when the power of darkness reigns." HCSB has "this is your hour-- and the dominion of darkness." This phrase is an acknowledgment of more than the darkness of the night in which Jesus is arrested. The power of darkness is another name for the kingdom of Satan, Paul explaining that God "rescued us from the domain (power) of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son." (Col 1:13+) The mixed crowd that came to arrest Jesus in the Garden were all willing subjects of the kingdom of Satan, under his power, serving as his "pawns" exercising his authority in this darkest hour in the history of the world!  Of course Satan only had the authority which God permitted him to exercise in order to bring about the final events of the Passion, but even his evil would fulfill prophecy and God's plan of redemption. One is reminded of Joseph's words “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive (cf Jn 1:29b)." (Ge 50:20). As always, the temporary finite power of darkness is subject to the eternal overruling providence of God

Jesus mention of power of darkness reminds one of John's description of Judas who "after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night" (Jn 13:30) and also the fact that the prince of darkness, Satan, had just "entered into him." (Jn 13:27). A dark heart went into a dark night for a dark deed.

Power (1849)(exousia) means the right to do something and the power or might to carry it to completion. In the present case the Sovereign God had given Satan permission to exercise his evil powers. The fact that the religious leaders actually arrested Jesus at dark symbolized that Satan's power of darkness was behind their actions. 

Darkness (4655)(skotos from skia = shadow thrown by an object. Skia it can assume the meaning of skotos and indicate the sphere of darkness) is literally that sphere in which light is absent. Skotos can refer to literal darkness as occurred on the day of Jesus' crucifixion (Mt 27:45) or darkness as opposed to light in the creation (2 Cor 4:6+). Skotos is used as another name for the place of punishment, eternal misery and eternal separation from God. Skotos figuratively can refer to spiritual or moral darkness (including a lack of understanding) as in Acts 26:18+ where the Gospel has the power to open "eyes (spiritually speaking) so that they may turn from darkness (skotos) to light and from the dominion of Satan to God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in" Jesus.

In Ephesians Paul reminds the saints that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."  (Eph 6:12) In Colossians Paul reminds the saints that God has "rescued us from the domain (exousia) of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son." (Col 1:13+). Peter says we  "are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Pe 2:9) John warns  that "If we say that we have fellowship with Him (God) and yet walk (present tense) in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth,  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 Jn 1:6-7)

Wiersbe - Each of us must decide whether we will go through life pretending, like Judas; or fighting, like Peter; or yielding to God's perfect will, like Jesus. Will it be the kiss, the sword, or the cup? (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Mattoon - It was one of the darkest hours of history. The bridle was removed from bitterness that gripped the hearts of the religious leaders. The handcuffs were removed from their hatred. The restraints were cut on their rebellion toward Christ's authority. All deterrents were eliminated from the powers of darkness which reigned for the moment only because God Almighty allowed them to implement their will so that His divine will could be done. What is so ironic here is they thought they were getting their own way, when in reality they were doing what the Lord knew they would do. They were fulfilling the plan of God for His Son to become the Savior of the world. Let me make this very clear. God did not make them arrest, scourge, and crucify Jesus. They were not a bunch of robots. The Jewish leaders and people chose to crucify Christ. The Lord, however, knew what they would do before the foundation of the world and used the choices they would make to fulfill His plan. How did He know they would do this to Christ. He is God. Need I say more? The garden experience must have ended somewhere around 2:30 a.m., for the six trials of Jesus were completed by morning and Jesus was on the cross by 9:00 in the morning. The arrest in the garden was illegal for it was done at night and was accomplished through a hired accuser. (Treasures from Luke)

Greg Harris has an interesting note - There is a popular Christian song, which I and many other Christians love to sing, that contains a line about the death of Jesus. It says, "Light of the world by darkness slain." (ED: A VERY POPULAR SONG - IN CHRIST ALONE - AS WE CAUTIONED ABOVE, BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET YOUR THEOLOGY FROM BIBLICAL ARTWORK AND HERE WE ADD DO NOT GET IT FROM SONGS. QUALIFIER - MANY HYMNS ARE ABSOLUTELY BIBLICAL AND THESE WORKS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. SADLY MUCH OF THE MODERN WORSHIP MUSIC PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE OLD HYMNS WHICH HAVE LARGELY BEEN REPLACED BY MORE SHALLOW MODERN CHORUSES (ALTHOUGH SOME ARE EXCELLENT JUST AS SOME HYMNS ARE NOT THOROUGHLY BIBLICAL - SEE NOTE). THIS IS SAD BECAUSE THE GREAT OLD HYMNS HELP US REMEMBER THEOLOGY! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HUMMED THE WORDS OF A SERMON? HOW ABOUT THE WORDS OF THE HYMNS YOU LEARNED AS A CHILD? POINT MADE! ACCURATE AND DEEP THEOLOGY IS OF GREAT BENEFIT TO THE BODY OF CHRIST! CHURCH, I BEG YOU TO USE A GENEROUS MIX OF HYMNS FILLED WITH SOUND DOCTRINE!)  (Harris continues) The composers of this song have greatly ministered to me and to many others. However, so often what people sing becomes deeply entrenched in their minds as doctrinal truth, and they conclude that what they sing is what the Bible teaches about how Jesus died. From what Jesus disclosed in John 10:18, no one—including Satan—could ever kill Him. So, when Jesus died, it was not darkness that slayed Him; it was His own deliberate choice to release His spirit as seen in Luke 23:46: "And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commit My spirit .' Having said this, He breathed His last." John 19:30 eternally records the last moments of Jesus's life this way: "When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit." The difficulty within the song I mention could be remedied by changing one simple word that would alter the entire concept: "Light of the world for darkness slain." This would include Jesus defeating Satan, redeeming the saved out of the domain of the darkness (Col 1:13-14), and fulfills Acts 26:18, as part of the Gospel going forth "to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in [Jesus]"). Finally, we would not just be removed from Satan's realm of darkness, but Ephesians 5:8 describes us before salvation: "You were formally darkness" [not just "in darkness"—utter darkness was our spiritual condition], but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of light." Thanks be to God for so great a salvation! (Bible Expositor's Handbook NT Edition, The: New Testament)

Related Resources: 

  • Hymns Are Theology - S T Kimbrough, Jr - Opening quote - “All Christians need to develop critical acumen about what they sing. Hymns are theology, and Christians tend to reject the content and mood of their hymns in the way they think and live as a church and community.... There is a need to recognize hymns for precisely what they are, in both words and music, and to discard poetical and musical statements which perpetuate a static theology which never leads beyond self to service (ED: better "beyond self to Savior then Service).” (Recommended Read - Only 10 pages).
  • Six Hymns That Have Been Teaching Bad Theology
  • Music Discernment

Oswald Chambers - Reconciling one’s self to the fact of sin - This is your hour, and the power of darkness. Luke 22:53.

It is not being reconciled to the fact of sin that produces all the disasters in life. You may talk about the nobility of human nature, but there is something in human nature which will laugh in the face of every ideal you have. If you refuse to agree with the fact that there is vice and self-seeking, something downright spiteful and wrong in human beings, instead of reconciling yourself to it when it strikes your life, you will compromise with it and say it is of no use to battle against it. Have you made allowance for this hour and the power of darkness, or do you take a recognition of yourself that misses out sin? In your bodily relationships and friendships do you reconcile yourself to the fact of sin? If not, you will be caught round the next corner and you will compromise with it. If you reconcile yourself to the fact of sin, you will realize the danger at once—‘Yes, I see what that would mean.’ The recognition of sin does not destroy the basis of friendship; it establishes a mutual regard for the fact that the basis of life is tragic. Always beware of an estimate of life which does not recognize the fact that there is sin. Jesus Christ never trusted human nature, yet He was never cynical, never suspicious, because He trusted absolutely in what He could do for human nature. The pure man or woman, not the innocent, is the safeguarded man or woman. You are never safe with an innocent man or woman. Men and women have no business to be innocent; God demands that they be pure and virtuous. Innocence is the characteristic of a child; it is a blameworthy thing for a man or woman not to be reconciled to the fact of sin.

Luke 22:54   Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance.

KJV Luke 22:54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.

Source: ESV Study Bible



      Jn 18:12-14,19-24

Mt 26:57-68 Mk 14:53-65 Lk 22:54, 63-65  

Mt 27:1 Mk 15:1 Lk 22:66-71  
Before Pilate  Mt 27:2, 11-14 Mk 15:1-5 Lk 23:1-5 Jn 18:28-38
Herod Antipas
    Lk 23:6-12  
Mt 27:15-26 Mk 15:6-15 Lk 23:13-25 Jn 18:39-19:16


A "kangaroo court" is "a military court that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations. The defendants in such courts are often denied access to legal representation and in some cases, proper defense." (Wikipedia) The trials of Jesus fulfilled all the nefarious aspects of this definition!

S Lewis Johnson makes an excellent point - What is also ironic about this, is that He appears before the judges, both of the ecclesiastical court and of the civil court, and in the final analysis there is no judge, no high authority, in human life who does not receive the authority from the Lord God (Ro 13:1). And so he who gives authority to man now stands before the bar of the authority that he himself has given. I say the irony is excruciating, and we do not understand these sections of the gospels if we do not appreciate what we have here.

MacArthur summarizes the 6 trials of Jesus - From Gethsemane, He was taken to Annas, for what was to be an arraignment.  Annas was to function like the grand jury, coming up with an indictment. (ED: Keep in mind of course that Satan was behind all of these events because now was "the hour and the power of darkness." Lk 22:53) From Annas, He was sent to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin for the main Jewish trial.  They did what they wanted to do, and then from there, in the morning after daybreak – so that they could make it legal, it had to happen in the day – they had a very brief thing, may have lasted ten minutes, and they reaffirmed their condemnation of Jesus Christ.  And then from there, He was sent to Pilate, and then Pilate sent Him to Herod, because Pilate knew He was innocent.  Then Herod sent Him back to Pilate, and Pilate, under the pressure the Jews put on him that they would tell Caesar that he was an inadequate ruler, decided to condemn Jesus to death. (Sermon - The Illegal, Unjust Trials of Jesus, Part 1)

Interwoven with Jesus' three trials before Annas and Caiaphas were Peter’s three denials.

Having arrested Him - As noted earlier Luke (and John) record Jesus' arrest AFTER Peter cut off Malchus' ear, whereas Matthew and Mark describe Jesus' arrest BEFORE Peter's attack. A probable scenario to explain Matthew and Mark's version is that as the crowd approached Jesus spoke the words found only in John 18:4-9 (whether He spoke these before or after Judas' kiss is difficult to state with certainty). After Judas kissed Jesus giving the signal, the soldiers  (had previously fallen down) grasped Jesus which caused Peter to spring into action and cut off Malchus' ear. Jesus then healed Malchus' ear, and after which the disciples fled leaving Jesus to face His enemies by Himself. At this time they completed the arrest and led Him away. 

Arrested (4815)(sullambano from sun/syn = together with + lambáno = to take, to seize) means literally to seize or take together and conveys the picture of clasping, in this case grasping or apprehending Jesus, thus taking Him into custody as one would a common criminal. Sullambano has the meaning of arresting Jesus in Mt 26:55; Mk 14:48; Lk 22:54; Jn 18:12. Jesus’ arrest is also referred to in Acts (Acts 1:16), where Luke showed how Peter (Acts 12:3) and Paul (Acts 23:27) followed in their Lord’s footsteps and also were arrested. This verb is used to capture an animal, such as a "catch of fish." (Lk 5:9). In the Septuagint sullambano can describe the capture of cities by military force, the arrest of an individual, the catching of an animal, or even the snatching away of sinners by God’s judgment (Ps 9:16).

They led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest - As John describes Jesus' first religious trial was before Annas (see discussion), after which Annas had Jesus bound and sent to his son-in-law Caiaphas.  While Annas was not the current high priest, he clearly exercised ultimate power including the authority to sanction the evil plot against Jesus. So this is why Jesus was first taken to Annas, even before going in front of the current high priest. In fact Annas had "questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching," (Jn 18:19), for he was seeking a charge against Jesus (because the Romans rarely approved the death penalty for a charge like blasphemy - an accusation that had been made against Jesus before - Mt 9:3, Mk 2:7, Lk 5:21+, Jn 10:33). 

"Like a Lamb that is led to slaughter." 
-- Isaiah 53:7+

What the Bible Teaches comments on led Him away - He who created the stars, who calls them by their names and leads them in their courses (Isa 40:26), was led by His creatures to be tried by a human tribunal

While the Scriptural evidence is lacking most authorities (since Augustine in the 4th century) have said that Annas and Caiaphas resided in different wings of the the same palace which was connected by a common courtyard through which Jesus was led (from Annas to Caiaphas). In the Jewish culture of the day a son-in-law would commonly build their residence adjacent to the parents’ home with a courtyard in between. Apparently it was in this courtyard that Peter and John stood, warming their hands on a fire of coals while waiting to hear the results of the hearing. And when Jesus was taken from Annas to Caiaphas, it was most likely through the very same courtyard where the two disciples were seated.

Johnson - Caiaphas was his son-in-law. He was a religious degenerate who prostituted the divine office for personal gain. And oh how many there have been down through the years who have done that. Caiaphas was a man who heaped up for himself a massive amount of money while he was serving in the priesthood. When the Romans seized Jerusalem in 70 A.D. they found a fortune of vast size stored away by him. In fact, when the British pound was worth a pound one of the commentators said that they found two and a half million pounds stored away by him which he derived from the office.  (Ref)

Mark 14:53-54+ adds

They led Jesus away to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together. 54 Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire.

John's Gospel fills in the gaps regarding Peter's denial...

Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple (JOHN). Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court (COURTYARD) of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper (OF THE COURTYARD), and brought Peter in. 17 Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.  (John 18:15–18)

(MATTHEW DESCRIBES THE SAME COURTYARD) - But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in (JOHN GOT HIM ADMITTED), and sat down with the officers to see the outcome (Matthew 26:58)

Peter's denial of Jesus Luke 22:54-62 (cf. Matt. 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; John 18:15-18, 25-27)

High priest (749)(archiereus from arche = first in a series, the leader or ruler, idea of rank or degree + hiereus = priest - hieros is that which is determined, filled or consecrated by divine power) refers to the priest that was chief over all the other priests in Israel. This office was established by God through Moses instructions in the Pentateuch. The office of high priest in Jesus' day was primarily a political role. As presiding officer of the Sanhedrin, the chief governing body in Israel, the high priest was the principal representative of the Jewish people to the Roman authorities. What the high priest wanted was preservation of the status quo (cf. Jn 11:47-49), which best served his interests and those aligned with him. In the book of Hebrews archiereus refers primarily to Jesus our "merciful and faithful High Priest" (Heb 2:17, Heb 4:14, 15, Heb 8:1).What a striking, ironic contrast between these two priests! Does this not make us yearn for that glorious day when we will be in the place "in which righteousness dwells!" (2 Peter 3:13).

Matthew 26:58 adds that "the scribes and the elders were gathered together" (in this context a gathering of the Sanhedrin) but their gathering was illegal for as Adam Clarke writes "the Talmud states (Sanhedrin. C.iv. S.1) that ‘Criminal processes can neither commence nor terminate, but during the course of the day. If the person be acquitted, the sentence may be pronounced during that day; but, if he be condemned, the sentence cannot be pronounced till the next day. But no kind of judgment is to be executed, either on the eve of the Sabbath, or the eve of any festival." Not only was the gathering illegal the high court of Judaism met to sentence to death a Man Who had not even been indicted! Talk about a "miscarriage of justice!" This was the greatest miscarriage in the of world.

Peter was following at a distance  - This is discussed in the notes under Luke 22:55 (see note). 

Bob Utley - ‘but Peter was following at a distance” The Gethsemane arrest caused most of the disciples to flee in fear of arrest. However, John may have known people in the High Priest’s family, for apparently he was present at the trials before the Jewish leaders. Peter, too, did not completely desert Jesus, but followed at a distance. He could not stay with Jesus, but he could not leave either (cf. Matt. 26:58; Mark 14:54).

Matthew Henry Concise - Verses 54-62. Peter's fall was his denying that he knew Christ, and was his disciple; disowning him because of distress and danger. He that has once told a lie, is strongly tempted to persist: the beginning of that sin, like strife, is as the letting forth of water. The Lord turned and looked upon Peter. 1. It was a convincing look. Jesus turned and looked upon him, as if he should say, Dost thou not know me, Peter? 2. It was a chiding look. Let us think with what a rebuking countenance Christ may justly look upon us when we have sinned. 3. It was an expostulating look. Thou who wast the most forward to confess me to be the Son of God, and didst solemnly promise thou wouldest never disown me! 4. It was a compassionate look. Peter, how art thou fallen and undone if I do not help thee! 5. It was a directing look, to go and bethink himself. 6. It was a significant look; it signified the conveying of grace to Peter's heart, to enable him to repent. The grace of God works in and by the word of God, brings that to mind, and sets that home upon the conscience, and so gives the soul the happy turn. Christ looked upon the chief priests, and made no impression upon them as he did on Peter. It was not the mere look from Christ, but the Divine grace with it, that restored Peter. 


There may be some repetition from the preceding notes. See table summarizing Jesus' trials.

(1) The First Mock Trial:
Before Annas

The date is April 7th, 30 A.D., the 15th of Nisan, and it is past midnight. Arnold Fruchtenbaum comments that "The reason that the religious leaders of Israel had rejected Jesus was His repudiation of the Oral Law, the “traditions of men,” the Mishnah, which had been added on to the Torah. It is therefore ironic that during the process that is about to unfold, the Jewish leadership will break over 22 of their own laws found in the Sanhedrin Tractate in the Mishnah during the trial and death of the Messiah."

Annas served as high priest for the years A.D. 7–14 until he was deposed from the office by the Roman governor. Although Annas was not the high priest as far as the Romans were concerned, he was still the high priest to the Jews. By Jewish law, the high priest held his office for life. Even though he was deposed, Annas continued to be in control even though he was succeeded by four of his sons, and then by his son-in-law Caiaphas.

S Lewis Johnson adds "Annas’ name is an interesting name. It comes from the Hebrew word hanan which means “to be gracious.” So Mr. Graciousness, Mr. Grace of God, is something like his name....Here is a priest who is a priest according to the Law of Moses, a priest according to the flesh, standing before the High Priest of God according to the Spirit. Or put in another way, the priest from Aaron and Levi stands before the Great High Priest (Heb 4:14) after the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4, Heb 5:6, 10, 6:20, 7:11, 17), who has neither beginning of life, nor end of days, without father, without mother, who abides an eternal priest (Heb 7:3), again the irony is excruciating. To think of this earthly priest, standing before the eternal priest, and judging the eternal priest." (Ref)

The first of the three phases of the religious trials was before Annas and it is recorded only in the Gospel of John.

John 18:12-14, 19-24 So the Roman cohort (AS MANY AS 600!) and the commander and the officers of the Jews (THE JEWISH TEMPLE POLICE - MAY HAVE BEEN AS MANY AS 200!), arrested Jesus and bound (SEE COMMENT BELOW) Him, 13 and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year (WHY ANNAS? ANNAS WAS THE EX-HIGH PRIEST BUT HE WAS STILL THE "POWER BEHIND THE THRONE" SO TO SPEAK). 14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people (SEE John 11:49-53 THIS STATEMENT INDICATES THAT IN ESSENCE THE LEADERS HAD ALREADY ARRIVED AT THEIR VERDICT REGARDING JESUS - THE DEATH SENTENCE HAD BEEN PREDETERMINED!) (Jn 18:15-18 = PETER'S DENIAL)....19 The high priest (Annas) then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching (HE WAS "FISHING" FOR A CHARGE TO INDICT JESUS AND CONVINCE THE ROMANS TO EXECUTE HIM). 20 Jesus answered him (HE DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO DEFEND HIS CONDUCT AND STATES), “I have spoken openly (boldly) to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together (in synagogues at Nazareth Lk 4:16, at Capernaum Jn 6:59, and in Galilee Mt 4:23; in the Temple, at the Feast of Tabernacles John 7:14, at the Feast of Dedication Jn 10:22-23, and on the Tuesday previous Mt. 21:23); and I spoke nothing in secret. 21 “Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them (I.E., OBTAIN EVIDENCE BY LEGAL MEANS); they know what I said.” 22 When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck (RHAPISMA = MEANS EITHER A BLOW WITH A ROD OR PALM OF HAND. USED ALSO Mk 14:65, Jn 19:3, Micah 5:1+) Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” 24 So Annas sent Him bound (SEE NOTE BELOW) to Caiaphas the high priest.

Comment: The fact that Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, was bound reminds us of two OT sacrifices that typified Christ's NT sacrifice (in fact as far as that goes, EVERY OT sacrifice was in a sense a Type of Christ. See Typology). Jesus was bound that believers might be loosed from bondage to Sin and Satan!

  • Ps 118:27 The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. 
  • Ge 22:9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

Some (MacArthur, Henry Morris) feel that this blow to Jesus (possibly by a club or rod) was a fulfillment of Micah 5:1b+ which says "With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek."  Smiting an official on the cheek was a bitter insult. The irony of course is that Judge of all mankind (2 Ti 4:1+) was being unfairly judged and unfairly treated by mankind! The truth also is that one day His "judges" will have to stand before Him for their final judgment (Rev 20:11-15+)!

Buss writes that "Under the Sanhedrin rules, nothing could be done without witnesses. Witnesses were of far greater importance in Jewish causes than under Roman law, or in modern European courts of justice; they were virtually the prosecutors....The guilt of the prisoner must not be assumed; but, on the contrary, his innocence: and no charge whatever can be brought against him until after the witnesses, at least two in number, had produced their evidence before the court. Jesus was entirely within His rights in reiterating His demand for the production of witnesses: “Bear witness of the evil."

Below are some of the passages that governed the dispensation of justice in Israel. For more discussion of the background of the Jewish system of justice see John MacArthur's sermon "The Illegal, Unjust Trials of Jesus." See also Buss' discussion of the Mishna as it relates to Jesus' mock trials.

  • Dt 16:18-20 You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you. 
  • Dt 17:6“On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, (AND THEIR TESTIMONY WOULD HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT) he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. 7  “The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (ED: This means the two or three witnesses are to throw the first stones.)
  • Dt 19:16-19 “If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing, 17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. 18 “The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, 19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother (IF THE DEATH PENALTY WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION, THEN THE FALSE WITNESS SHOULD BE EXECUTED. THIS WOULD SERVE TO MINIMIZE THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE A FALSE WITNESS!). Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

Barclay - There is a passage in the Talmud which says: ‘Woe to the house of Annas! Woe to their serpent’s hiss! They are High Priests; their sons are keepers of the treasury; their sons-in-law are guardians of the Temple; and their servants beat the people with staves." Annas and his household were notorious. 

See also transcript on John 18:12–27 from John MacArthur's sermon Jesus’ Unjust Trial, Peter’s Shameful Denial

For more in depth treatment of Jesus' Examination before Annas see Septimus Buss' excellent 1906 book The Trial of JesusHere is an excerpt...

  • Midnight had arrived before the Roman troops and the servants of the chief priests officered by the tribune (chiliarchos), had climbed the steep path up the Temple hill in the bright light of the Paschal moon: and, when at this late hour the gate of the sleeping city closed behind them, the streets were deserted and silent. The captors hastily made their way to the palace of the high priest, and delivered their Prisoner into the custody of Annas. Annas was at this time the most striking personality in Palestine. For more than half a century he was at the head of ecclesiastical affairs in Jerusalem, either as actual high priest, or as holding the reins of power through members of his family. Josephus (Antiquities xx. Chap 9.1) speaks of him as “a most fortunate man,” having enjoyed the pontificate a long time himself, and being succeeded in that dignity by five of his sons, as well as by his son-in-law, Joseph Caiaphas. He was a Sadducee, careless of religious obligations and actuated by Epicurean ideas of the importance of utilizing to the utmost the delights of this present world. His lax religious views enabled him to keep on friendly terms with the Roman authorities, while at the same time feeling that he could hold in check that tendency to revolt which always inflamed the minds of the Jewish zealots, especially those of Galilee. His immense wealth contributed to the success of his ambitious schemes. Large revenues were derived from the sale of the various articles required for the sacrifices and offerings in the Temple, for which purpose booths had been established on the Mount of Olives, and even under the porticoes of the Temple itself. (Click to continue reading)

The purpose of Jesus' first "trial" was an attempt by Annas to arrive at a formal accusation against Jesus for a serious crime which would warrant the Roman's bringing the death penalty. Recall that normally an indictment is is filed after the conclusion of a grand jury investigation, so in essence Annas was functioning as the grand jury! In so doing  Annas was violating several Sanhedrin laws -- First, the law forbade any trials before the morning sacrifice and Jesus' appearance before Annas was probably shortly after midnight and certainly before 3 AM because cock crowing normally began about that time and had not yet occurred (cf Mt 26:74). Secondly, trials were only to be public with no secret trials, including no trials in private homes. In his attempt to get an accusation against Jesus Annas questioned Him on who His disciples were and what were His teachings. In reply Jesus challenged Annas to keep the Jewish law which said they were to produce the charge and not to seek a charge by interrogating the accused. When Jesus demanded they adhere to their own laws, He was given a blow. So here begins the first of several mistreatments (not even counting His being bound like a criminal (Jn 18:12). This first religious trial was short and ended in failure for Annas came up with no specific charge by which Jesus could be tried in a Sanhedrin court of law. 

(2) The Second Mock Trial:
Before Caiaphas

For context note that all three denials by Peter occur during trial number two, while Peter was in the court of the high priest Caiaphas.  Peter and John had followed the mob who took Jesus into the residence of Caiaphas. John had access to the courtyard of the high priest because of a relationship (? what kind). John was known unto the servants of the high priest, and John used his influence to get Peter into the courtyard of the compound. This sets the stage for Peter’s testing, resulting in three denials of increasing vehemence. Peter's three denials will be discussed below in Lk 22:55-62. 

Caiaphas, Annas’ son-in law served as high priest from A.D. 25–36. According to Luke 22:54, the second religious trial was held in Caiaphas’ home. Caiaphas, like Annas, violated the law which said that Sanhedrin trials could only be held in the Hall of Judgment of the Temple Compound and not in the privacy of one’s home (in public, not in secret). Wikipedia adds "In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Hall of Hewn Stones (SEE PICTURE) in the Temple in Jerusalem. The court convened every day except festivals (ED: WHICH WAS ANOTHER ILLEGALITY OF THE CURRENT COURT AS IT WAS PASSOVER!) and the Sabbath day (Shabbat)." 

While the examination by Annas was proceeding, the members of the Sanhedrin were hastily being gathered together from the various districts of the city to the house of Caiaphas, not the Hall of Hewn Stones. Recall that it is the middle of the night, now probably after 1 AM. Mt 26:57 tells us "the scribes and the elders were gathered together" and Mk 14:53 adds "all the chief priests," who together constituted the Sanhedrin  which normally had 71 men (24 chief priests, 24 elders, 22 scribes and the High priest ). The Sanhedrin had to have a minimum of 23. It is unlikely that all 71 were present, for Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea were almost certainly not present to condemn Jesus (Jn 19:38–42). In the passages below note that the religious leaders were seeking witnesses, which was illegal for the defense had the right to bring witnesses before the accusers brought witnesses. In Matthew's account we see that the two witnesses could not agree on whether Jesus actually said that He would destroy the Temple (Mk 14:58) or whether He simply claimed to have the power to do so (Mt 26:61) and thus they had to be dismissed, invalidating their testimony. And once again the Sanhedrin violated the law, because, the trial was to proceed only if two witnesses agreed in every detail.

Caiaphas was frustrated and stood up (for greater solemnity) to challenged Jesus “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” (Mt 26:62, Mk 14:60) To demand for Jesus to testify against Himself violated another aspect of their own law! Jesus however stuck to His rights as a defendant and refused to answer. Caiphas then placed Jesus under a solemn oath declaring "adjure (exorkizo) You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ (THE MESSIAH), the Son of God." (Mt 26:63) This shows tha tCaiaphas clearly knew who Jesus claimed to be and he also knew the Messiah would be the Son of God. Jesus answered definitively “I am (ego eimi) (In Mark's version); and you shall see THE SON OF MAN (from Da 7:13+) SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER (from Ps 110:1), and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN (from Da 7:13+).” (Mk 14:62, cf Mt 26:64)  Not only did Jesus use the famous "ego eimi" but He also used the phrase "Son of Man" which was the accepted title among the Jews for the Messiah. Notice also that Jesus predicts a reversal of the tables, for in that future day Jesus, the Great High Priest, will be Caiaphas' Judge!  

Mark 14:53-65+ They led Jesus away to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together.  54 Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers (huperetes) and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole Council (sunedrion = Sanhedrin, the Jewish "Supreme Court"; see also What was the Sanhedrin?) kept trying to obtain testimony (LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE) against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. 56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent. 57 Some (TWO FALSE WITNESSES IN Mt 26:60) stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” 59 Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. 60 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him (ED: APPARENTLY CAIAPHAS HAD PLACED HIM UNDER SACRED OATH RECORDED BY MATTHEW - Mt 26:63), and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am (ego eimi); and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” 63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 “You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all ("ALL" THAT WERE PRESENT - JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA MUST NOT HAVE BEEN PRESENT [SEE Lk 23:51]. IT IS ALSO DOUBTFUL IF NICODEMUS [Jn 7:50, 51, 52] WAS PRESENT) condemned Him to be deserving of death. 65 Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.

Comment on RIGHT HAND OF POWER - POWER is a circumlocution referring to God. Such indirect references to God were common in first century Judaism out of reverence for God's Name Yahweh. And since Jesus sits at the right hand of power, the exalted position, these Jewish "judges" would see "here come da' Judge!" They were deluded into thinking they were Jesus' judges, when in fact the reverse would prove true!

Comment on Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent (Mk 14:59, cf Mt 26:60) - Why were they not "consistent"? “I will destroy” (Mk 14:58) is a statement of intent, and “I am able to destroy” (Mt 26:61) is a statement of ability. Under Roman Law a threat against the Temple would result in a capital offense, which is why the Sanhedrin are trying to massage what Jesus said into being a threat, but their two witnesses were not consistent and by law Jesus should have been released (another miscarriage of justice!).

Matthew 26:57-68 Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58 But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” (cf Jn 2:19 = He was referring to His body, NOT the Jewish Temple.) 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”  65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”  67 Then they (SANHEDRIN MEMBERS) spat in His face (FULFILLING PROPHECY - Isa 50:6) and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

Comment: Note that Jesus was silent until Caiaphas placed Him under a sacred oath ("I adjure You"), at which time Jesus had to answer truthfully (of course He ALWAYS answered truthfully!). 

A T Robertson on "He has blasphemed!" -  There was no need of witnesses now, for Jesus had incriminated himself by claiming under oath to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Now it would not be blasphemy for the real Messiah to make such a claim, but it was intolerable to admit that Jesus could be the Messiah of Jewish hope. At the beginning of Christ's ministry he occasionally used the word Messiah of himself, but he soon ceased, for it was plain that it would create trouble. The people would take it in the sense of a political revolutionist who would throw off the Roman yoke. If he declined that role, the Pharisees would have none of him for that was the kind of a Messiah that they desired. But the hour has now come. At the Triumphal Entry Jesus let the Galilean crowds hail him as Messiah, knowing what the effect would be (Mt 21:9, Mk 11:9, 10, Jn 12:13-15). Now the hour has struck (cf Lk 22:53). He has made his claim and has defied Caiaphas, the High Priest. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Comment: The penalty for blasphemy was death by stoning (Lev 24:15-16+). On the basis of this Second Mock trial Jesus was condemned to death, but they had no authority under Roman law to carry out the penalty. 

What the Bible teaches - To accuse the Lord of this is itself blasphemy; and is equivalent to calling light dark. It shows the darkness of Jewish religion to make such a statement against the Lord of life and glory. No doubt Caiaphas believed what he said, but the belief of unbelievers is unbelief.

Numerous Illegalities of the Trial of Jesus (AKA - A Mockery of Justice!) - When Jesus affirmed that He was the Messiah, the Sanhedrin responded in a way that broke more laws. The high priest was forbidden to tear his garments (Lev 10:6+, Lev 21:10+) and yet this is what he did. He also broke the law when he made a charge against Jesus, because charges were not to originate with the judges, whose job was only to weigh the charges presented. When Caiaphas claimed that there was no need of witnesses, he again broke the law, which stated there could be no condemnation except by testimony of two or three witnesses and they must agree in every detail. Caipahas broke the law when he put Jesus under oath in an attempt to make Jesus testify against Himself. Caiaphas also broke the law when he accused Jesus of blasphemy, for this charge was only valid if the person charged had actually pronounced the actual name of God. When the Sanhedrin passed their guilty sentence, they violated the law that said a person could not be condemned on the basis of only his own words. Also, their verdict of guilty was at night which was illegal. The guilty verdict was pronounced at the same time as the trial itself, but the law stated that the trial and the guilty verdict had to be separated by at least 24 hours. When they declared Jesus was condemned to die, they did so by acclamation, which was illegal for the death penalty had to be given by individual count, beginning with the youngest so they would not be influenced by their elders. Announcing the sentence on the same day as the trial was illegal for the sentence could only be given three days after a guilty verdict. Finally, they broke the law by beating Messiah, an action which was not allowed by law. Another law that was broken is no trials could be held on the eve of the Sabbath or a feast day. Fruchtenbaum sums it up writing that "this stage of the trial was a complete travesty of Jewish Civil justice, by the laws of the day."

Below is Arnold Fruchtenbaum's summary of the twenty-two judicial laws of the Sanhedrin which were broken at Messiah’s trial are as follows (there is obvious duplication with the preceding note):

  1. According to Exodus 23:8, there was to be no arrest by ecclesiastical authorities that was effected by a bribe.
  2. There were to be no steps of criminal proceedings after sunset.
  3.  Judges and Sanhedrin members could not participate in the arrest.
  4.  There were to be no trials before the morning sacrifice.
  5.   All trials were to be public; secret trials were forbidden.
  6.  Sanhedrin trials were only to be held in the Hall of Judgment in the Temple Compound.
  7.   The proper procedure for the trial was to be: first the defense; then the accusation. The judges who argued for innocence were to speak before the ones who argued for guilt.
  8.  While all judges of the Sanhedrin may argue in favor of acquittal, all may not argue in favor of guilt.
  9.  On the basis of Deuteronomy 19:15, there were to be two or three witnesses, and their testimonies had to be in perfect agreement.
  10.  There was to be no allowance for the accused to testify against himself.
  11.  Based on Leviticus 21:10, the high priest was forbidden to tear his garments.
  12.  The charges against the defendant were not to originate with the judges; they could only investigate charges brought to them.
  13.  When the charge was blasphemy, guilt could only be established if the defendant had actually pronounced the very name of God.
  14.  A person could never be condemned on the basis of his own words alone.
  15.  The judges’ verdict could never be announced at night.
  16.  In cases of capital punishment, the trial and the verdict of guilt could not occur at the same time. They had to be separated by at least 24 hours.
  17.  Voting for the death penalty had to be done by individual count beginning with the youngest judge so that the younger would not be influenced by the elder.
  18.  A unanimous decision for guilt showed innocence since it was impossible for a minimum of twenty-three men or a maximum of seventy-one men to agree without plotting.
  19.  The sentence could only be pronounced three days after the guilty verdict.
  20.  A person condemned to death could not be beaten or scourged beforehand.
  21.  Judges were to be humane and kind.
  22.  No trials are allowed on the eve of the Sabbath or on a feast day.

For a more detailed discussion of the rules/laws for trials, witnesses, etc. see Buss' ten page discussion "Extracts from the Mishna." 

(3) The Third Mock Trial: 
Before the Sanhedrin

Among the four Gospels, the final religious trial is described in most detail by Luke (Luke 22:66–71) with brief descriptions by Matthew (Mt 27:1) and Mark (Mk 16:1). The Second Trial broke up between 3-5 AM after passing the death sentence on Jesus. The Third Trial was a veiled attempt by the Jewish leaders to make their illegal nocturnal proceedings look "legal" or "official." And so the religious leaders waited until daylight so they could claim that the trial had not occurred at night. The Third Trial moved from the private homes of the high priests to the official Hall of Hewn Stones (SEE PICTURE) in the Temple in Jerusalem. 

When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber (Aka, Hall of Hewn Stones), saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer. 69 “But from now on THE SON OF MAN WILL BE SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND of the power OF GOD.” 70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.” (Lk 22:66-71)

  • Notice that the Sanhedrin asked Jesus two questions, both of which He had already answered. Their "ruse" was necessary in order to present a pretense of legality. In Lk 22:67a the first question was  "Tell us, are you the Messiah?" (NLT). Jesus responded that He had told them and that they had refused to believe. Nevertheless, Jesus said that His claims to be the Messiah would be authenticated when they would see the Son of Man (a title for Messiah) sitting at the right hand of God the Father (Lk 22:67b–69). Their second question was “Are you then the Son of God?” and Jesus said "Yes, I am" (Lk 22:70). 

The very attempt to legalize an illegal proceeding was filled with further illegalities. Once again the religious leaders said that they had no need of witnesses and condemned Christ on the basis of His own words (both illegal). So the tragic attempt to “legalize the illegal” only resulted in further infractions of the law. With this the Three Mock Religious trials came to an end, with a final charge of blasphemy, which did carry with it the death penalty.

Buss - Meeting At Daybreak

James Smith - PETER’S DENIAL Luke 22:54–62

    “Sirs, the significance of this your doubt
    Lies in the reason of it; ye do grudge
    That those, your lands, should have another Lord.
    Ye are not loyal, therefore ye would fain
    Your King should bide afar.”

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” But Peter did not seem to profit anything from the Lord’s forewarning that “Satan desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat.” It was more than Job got. Christ uses a fan to blow away the chaff, and cleanse the wheat; the Devil uses a sieve to save the chaff and cast out the wheat. Next to the power of Christ dying for us is the power of His praying for us. “I have prayed for thee” (v. 32; John 17:15). Let us note the steps in Peter’s downfall.

I. Self Confidence. He said, “Lord, I am ready to go with Thee into prison and to death” (Lk 22:33). Peter thought he was ready now, but the testing time had not yet come; he should have believed the Lord’s Word, that his prayer for Him was greatly needed. Peter had not yet learned that “without Him he could do nothing” but faint and fail. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26).

II. The Fear of Man. “Peter followed afar off” (Lk 22:54). Now was Peter’s time to “go with Him into prison,” but his feet were caught in that snare that is always made by the “fear of man.” Acts speak louder than words. Let us beware of imitating Peter’s cowardly conduct by refusing to identify ourselves with Christ’s cause when others are ruthlessly treating His Word and His work. “Following afar off” is nothing but a half-hearted denial.

III. Companying with the Scornful. “Peter sat down with them” (Lk 22:55). Through the influence of John, Peter was allowed into the open court, but he joined the scoffers and warmed himself at the enemies’ fire (John 18:15–18). John doubtless followed Christ into the judgment hall. Following afar off will surely lead to mingling with the ungodly, and joining with them in their unholy mirth. After the prodigal went into the far country he was soon found joining himself to a citizen (Luke 15:15).

IV. Denial. “He denied Him, saying, I know Him not” (Lk 22:56–60), and that three times over, as the Lord had said. The fruit of self-confidence is Christ-denial. Christ is always being condemned when pride sits in the throne of our heart. Let us take care that we don’t throw stones at Peter for doing in one day what we ourselves may be doing every day we live—refusing to confess Christ our Lord. Then came his—

V. Repentance. “He went out and wept bitterly” (Lk 22:62). The Lord Jesus Christ, while being led from the judgment hall across the open court to the guard-room, cast such a searching, pitiful, heart-melting look on Peter that wakened his sin-drugged memory, and filled his eyes with the bitter tears of sorrow and penitence. One look of Christ is enough to make the deep sea of the past to yield up its dead. “Peter remembered.” An awakened memory will be a blessing or curse, according to our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive” (1 John 1:9).

ED. NOTE - Did you notice one crucial element James Smith left out? Prayer to prepare one BEFORE the temptation comes! 

Luke 22:55   After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them.

KJV Luke 22:55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

Luke 22:54-62

Note that all Four Gospels have descriptions of Peter's denial (see Scripture below), but comparing these four accounts is not always straightforward. Keep this in mind as you study, teach and preach on Peter's denials.

Stein for example comments that there are several differences including "such things as: exactly where and when the three denials took place, who the people were who questioned Peter, the exact wording of Peter’s denials, and the number of cock crows (one or two). All four (Gospel writers agree) that Peter (1) denied his Lord three times (2) on the night of Jesus’ betrayal (3) in the courtyard of the high priest, (4) that a maid questioned Peter, and (5) that a cock crowed “immediately” after the third denial." (NAC) (Numbers in parentheses added).

Below are ALL FOUR GOSPEL versions describing Peter's denials. You might want to prayerfully spend a few moments reading each account (even several times). The notes will attempt to integrate the four accounts as much as is possible. There will be some repetition of verses and phrases from Matthew, Mark and John's account in the verse by verse comments on Luke's version.

(Mt 26:58)
But Peter was following Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and entered in, and sat down with the officers to see the outcome. 
(Mt 26:69  (FIRST ACCUSATION) Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” (FIRST DENIAL) 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71  (SECOND ACCUSATION) When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” (SECOND DENIAL) 72 And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73  (THIRD ACCUSATION) A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” (THIRD DENIAL) 74 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

(Mk 14:54)
Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire.
(Mk 14:66-72) s Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, 67  (FIRST ACCUSATION) and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.” (FIRST DENIAL) 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch. 69  (SECOND ACCUSATION) The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, “This is one of them!” 70 (SECOND DENIAL) But again he denied it. (THIRD ACCUSATION) And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.” (THIRD DENIAL) 71 But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!” 72 Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep.

(Jn 18:17
 (FIRST ACCUSATION) Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” (FIRST DENIAL) He *said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself. 
(Jn 18:25  (SECOND ACCUSATION)Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” (SECOND DENIAL) He denied it, and said, “I am not.” 26 (THIRD ACCUSATION) One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” (THIRD DENIAL) 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

(Luke 22:54-62) Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” (FIRST DENIAL) 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” (SECOND DENIAL) But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” (THIRD DENIAL) 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. 

Darrel Bock adds that "The Gospels differ about who elicits Peter’s denials; the slave girls are more prominent in Matthew (Mt 26:69, 71) and Mark (Mk 14:66, 69) than in Luke (Lk 22:56).

Luke's version of Peter's 3 denials is found in Luke 22:55-62 almost like a "parenthesis" because Luke introduces the Second religious trial in Lk 22:54 but then does not describe it again until Luke 22:63ff, and even there leaves out details found in the other two synoptic accounts. Specifically, Luke does not have the details of Caiaphas' interactions with Jesus (for those interactions read Mt 26:59-66 and Mk 14:55-64 and/or see the preceding summary notes on the Second Religious trail).

Let's begin with the last phrase in Luke 22:54 where we find Peter was following (Jesus) at a distance (see Mt 26:58, Mk 14:54) possibly hoping to prove wrong Jesus’ prediction that He would deny and forsake Him at His death. Recall that all 11 disciples had already "left Him and fled." (Mt 26:56, Mk 14:50, compare Jesus' prophecy in Mt 26:31 and Mk 14:27 = fulfillment of Zechariah 13:7+). Peter must have circled back and began following the guards taking Jesus to the house of Annas (Jn 18:13). John tells us there was "another disciple" (Jn 18:15) who was following along with Peter. All three synoptic Gospels record that they were following "at a distance", NOT too close! While the identity of the other disciple is not definitely stated, most commentaries believe this was John. John's Gospel tells us "the other disciple (JOHN), who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter" (Jn 18:16) into the courtyard. Matthew, Mark and Luke's accounts all lack John's explanation and thus give the impression that Peter just waltzed right into the courtyard (Mt 26:58, Mk 14:54, Lk 22:54-55). Matthew tells us that Peter was following "to see the outcome." (Mt 26:58)

Peter was following at a distance - Earlier Peter had declared “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” (Lk 22:33+). Before we are too hard on Peter's denial, we need to acknowledge that he was at least being somewhat true to his words, because following Jesus could have meant imprisonment or even death had he been discovered. 

After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard - The time is around 1 AM on Friday. Jerusalem is elevated so in the Spring it can get quite cool at night (probably in the 60's). Peter is in the joint courtyard between the residences of Annas and Caiaphas. John 18:16 records that John ("another disciple" who had also been following Jesus - a fact only recorded in Jn 18:15) had to speak to the "doorkeeper" in order for Peter to gain entrance to the courtyard. This detail is lacking in the other 3 gospel records each of which gives the impression that Peter was following Jesus and just waltzed into the courtyard by himself (Mt 26:58, Mk 14:54, Lk 22:54). 

Kindled a fire - Luke uses the word for fire (Gk = pur) but Mark's version ("warming himself at the fire" Mk 14:54) uses a different word phos which is most often translated light which emphasizes the light from the fire shone on Peter's face which enabled the servant-girl to identify Peter as one who was with Jesus.

As an aside it notable that at this fire Peter denied his Lord, but at another charcoal fire Peter was restored by His Lord (John 21:9).

And had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them - Among who? Matthew 26:58 and Mark 14:54 say that Peter set down with the officers. Officers is the Greek word huperetes which conveys the basic meaning of one who acts under orders of another to carry out their will and thus could refer not only to the servants of the Sanhedrin but also the servants of the high priest. 

David Guzik comments on the fact that Peter was sitting among them - Finding warmth around their fire and hoping to blend in, Peter put himself among the servants of those who arrested and persecuted Jesus. Having forsaken the fellowship of the fleeing disciples, Peter did not – at this time – want to be identified as a follower of Jesus. 

Luke 22:56   And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, "This man was with Him too."

BGT  Luke 22:56 ἰδοῦσα δὲ αὐτὸν παιδίσκη τις καθήμενον πρὸς τὸ φῶς καὶ ἀτενίσασα αὐτῷ εἶπεν· καὶ οὗτος σὺν αὐτῷ ἦν.

GNM  Luke 22:56 εἶδον@vpaanf-s δέ@ch αὐτός@npam3s παιδίσκη@n-nf-s τὶς@a-inf-s κάθημαι@vppnam-s πρός@pa ὁ@dans φῶς@n-an-s καί@cc ἀτενίζω@vpaanf-s αὐτός@npdm3s εἶπον@viaa--3s καί@ab οὗτος@apdnm-s σύν@pd αὐτός@npdm3s εἰμί@viia--3s

KJV  Luke 22:56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.

NET  Luke 22:56 Then a slave girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight, stared at him and said, "This man was with him too!"

CSB  Luke 22:56 When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight, and looked closely at him, she said, "This man was with Him too."

ESV  Luke 22:56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, "This man also was with him."

NIV  Luke 22:56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with him."

NLT  Luke 22:56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, "This man was one of Jesus' followers!"

NRS  Luke 22:56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, "This man also was with him."

YLT  Luke 22:56 and a certain maid having seen him sitting at the light, and having earnestly looked at him, she said, 'And this one was with him!'

GWN  Luke 22:56 A female servant saw him as he sat facing the glow of the fire. She stared at him and said, "This man was with Jesus."

NKJ  Luke 22:56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, "This man was also with Him."

NAB  Luke 22:56 When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, "This man too was with him."

MIT  Luke 22:56 By the light of the fire a female slave saw him sitting there. She looked intently at him and exclaimed, "This man also was with him!"

NJB  Luke 22:56 and as he was sitting there by the blaze a servant-girl saw him, peered at him, and said, 'This man was with him too.'

ASV  Luke 22:56 And a certain maid seeing him as he sat in the light of the fire, and looking stedfastly upon him, said, This man also was with him.

DBY  Luke 22:56 And a certain maid, having seen him sitting by the light, and having fixed her eyes upon him, said, And this man was with him.

BBE  Luke 22:56 And a certain woman-servant, seeing him in the light of the fire, and looking at him with attention, said, This man was with him.

NIRV  Luke 22:56 A female servant saw him sitting there in the firelight. She looked closely at him. Then she said, "This man was with Jesus."

RSV  Luke 22:56 Then a maid, seeing him as he sat in the light and gazing at him, said, "This man also was with him."

RWB  Luke 22:56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.

WEB  Luke 22:56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.

BYZ  Luke 22:56 Ἰδοῦσα δὲ αὐτὸν παιδίσκη τις καθήμενον πρὸς τὸ φῶς, καὶ ἀτενίσασα αὐτῷ, εἶπεν, Καὶ οὗτος σὺν αὐτῷ ἦν.


And a servant-girl - Mk 14:66 adds that she was "one of the servant-girls of the high priest" and John 18:17 says she was "the slave-girl who kept the door." So presumably she saw Peter when he entered Caiaphas, the high priest's, quarters. 

Servant-girl (3814)(paidiske diminutive of pais = a girl, youth) refers to a young girl or maiden. In NT refers to a slave girl or female slave. This very word is used 6 times (see uses below) in the Septuagint translation of Genesis 16 to refer to Hagar.) 

Paidiske - 14x in 12v - bondwoman(5), servant-girl(4), servant-girls(1), slave-girl(2), slaves*(1), women(1). Matt. 26:69; Mk. 14:66; Mk. 14:69; Lk. 12:45; Lk. 22:56; Jn. 18:17; Acts 12:13; Acts 16:16; Gal. 4:22; Gal. 4:23; Gal. 4:30; Gal. 4:31

Seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking (staring) intently at him - The full moon and the light of the fire (see note regarding Mark's use of phos normally translated "light") would have made it relatively easy to see Peter's face. Mark 14:67 says the servant-girl "looked at him," where the verb "looked" is not atenizo but emblepo which describes attentively looking at Peter's face, fixing her gaze on him with an intense gaze.

Looking intently (816)(atenizo from from atenes = strained, intent which in turn is from a = intensifies + teino = to stretch, to extend or to strain all of which help to paint a picture of the meaning of atenizo) means to look intently, to fix one's gaze on something, to stare at something, to gaze earnestly, to look straight at something, to fasten one's eyes upon. 

This man was with Him too - Matthew 26:69 records that "You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” Mark 14:67 records "You also were with Jesus the Nazarene."

Mt 26:69  (FIRST ACCUSATION) Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”

Mk 14:66-67 (FIRST ACCUSATION) As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came,and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.” 

Comment: To refer to Jesus as a Nazarene was a reference to His  hometown, which communicated a general contempt for the poor reputation  of Nazareth. 

Jn 18:17 (FIRST ACCUSATION) Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” (FIRST DENIAL) He said, “I am not.” 

Luke 22:57   But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him."

KJV Luke 22:57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.


But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him" - Peter emphatically disclaimed any association with Jesus. Note that he was not being rude by saying "Woman," for that was a polite form of address like our "Madam" or "Ma'am."  

Denied (720)(arneomai from "a" = negation + rheo = say) literally means "to say no", to say one does not know about or is in any way related to some person or some thing. Webster says that to deny implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede or to acknowledge the existence or claims of.

The word to